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Price 3a'. Qd. bound in red^ 

W. Flint, Printer, Old Bailey, LonduJ*. 




Intro orcTiON iv. Vocabulary x. 

I. Out Door Delinquencies : Inn Yards and Coaches 1. 
Hangers on 8. Hackney men 10, Smashing- 13. 

Of Walking the Streets 14. Picking Pockets 17. Crowds 
18. Gangs 19. Resorts 20. Stagging21. Manners 23. 
Violence 27. Women 28. Boys 31. 

Of Hustling 32. Footpads 34. Women ib. Tripping up 
35. Falling down 37. Running 42. Call 44. 

Of Highwaymen 46. Arms 48. 

II. Inn Door Tricks : Sharpers 48. Wagering Kiddies 
49. Cards 53. Low Games 54. High Games 60. Greeks 
and Legs 61. Do's 62. Plucking 64. 

Money-Droppers 69. Ring-Droppeis 71, Kidnappers, 
False Accusers, Trappers and Crimps 7P. Subornation 77. 

Pretended Officers 78. Of Searching 80. Sinnggling 
82. Informers 83. Smuggled Articles 86 Piivate Stills 
88. Duffers 91. Jobbers 95. Barkers 98. Mock Auc- 
tions 99. 

III. MiscELLANEOcs Offences. In poiambniating the 
Streets i02, Stnll Keepers 104, Clutiies S!.<,ps 105. 
Street Pilferers 105. Prowlers 108. 0-. Igeis 110. 

Prostitutes 114. Wiles 116. fags 120. Fancy men 
121. B>.nTonl22. Bn!lyl26. Fo.oe 127 Midnight 
Beggars 130. Box Lobby 136. Lnie 137. Beggars 140. 
Bold ones 141. Sneaks 142. Excursion 144. 

IV. Holse-Breakers 146. Prevfntives 148. Arms 
149. Jack 52. Muiders 155. Defence i58. Shop- 
windows 160. Sfrop-LiFFERS 162. Women 164. 

Heavy Goods 167. Sma.^iie.js i72. Forgeries !74. 

V. Minor Cheats 174. Frfifuders to Literature 175, 
Muck Parsons "76. Prete. dcd Doctors 179 Lawyers 181. 
Obtaining money !85. Cstemiongers 189. Registcj Of- 
fices 190. Lotteries and Goes 193. Game Publicans '9Q, 
Brewer and Distiller 2U0. Sycophants 2 3. Spongers 
507. Swindlers 209. Reputation 2.2. Banks 2.7. 
Booeivers 223. 

VI, Of Conspirators and Informers 227, 
A 2 


When a stranger first arrives in this overgro^v^l 
city, and finds, upon alighting at the inn, that he has 
still some miles perhaps to go before he can see his 
fi-iends, he is naturally anxious for advice how to reach 
them in safety, with his luggage. But, if this be the 
case with those who Jiave got friends, what is the dread 
of such as have a home to seek, business to look after, 
or a place of service to obtain, without a friend to 
guide their steps, or a candid person to warn them of 
their danger ; to tell them of ^ the precipices, pit falls, 
and moral turpitude, of a large proportion of the 
population of this great metropolis ? 

To supply the place of a living friend, and in some 
cases to perform the necessary part of one, by directing 
the stranger in the choice of companions, and what 
characters he should avoid, I have com[)iled these 
sheets ; in which will be found " all 1 know about the 
matter," and all I could 'Mearn out" by "fine-draw- 
ii)g" of others. In this work I have obtained the assist- 

Hnce of an author by profession, who will new- 
vvrite it mostly all over. The gentleman will put all 
of it in order, fit to be read, and add a word or two, 
or a line or two, here and there, when I am out. This 
is but fan- and proper, considering as I am not much 
used to the pen, I might make " a pretty kettle of 
fish of it;" so, "^I cares not, not I," says I to the 
gentleman as employs us both, '^ its all one to me, 
though he should strike out every word ; for, as for 
me, as I mean to out ivith it all, he may put it dowm 
in what lingo he likes." This is all I shall say " of 
my own accord,'' seeing I am willing to make amends 
for my past life, by disclosing such secrets as never 
were made public before, not upon paper; and I thought 
I would have a few words of my own put down in 
genuine, at the beginning, without any of his '^making 
or meddling." So, as I have promised and mean to 
leave off the calling, and " live comfortable" upon the 
profitr: of this here book, I have just put an end to it 
by grabbing three or four books* from the gentleman, 
my employer, which I have now got under my great 
coat, as I mean to borrow a word or two, and a few 
hints as I go on, as is usual in book-making. 

Although one of them authors pretends to be up to 

* 1. Report of the house of coinmoiis on the police ; 2. A 
trpatise on the police of the metropolis 5 3, King's Frauds of 
London ; 4. Sir John Fielding's tracts ; 5. New Monthly 
Magazine, 1st June, 1817, and 0-ct, Nov, Dec. ajid Jaa. 

A 3 

a great deal, yet he does not know more about the 
matter than one of us, nor half so much as myself of 
some things. He had his information from an interest- 
ed, and therefore a polluted, source, — the officers. When 
he says, " there are twenty thousand persons of both 
sexes, who get up in the morning without knoAving 
whereabout they shall sleep at night," he makes a 
decent good round numbered guess, as applied to one 
part of the year, but not so as to another, which shows 
want of discrimination. But what of the fact } Does 
he propose a remedy.'* If he had pomted out the 
means of sheltering them at night, he would haA'e been 
more beneficially employed ; as the statement now 
stands his readers are left to conclude, " that those 
twenty thousand houseless wretches are upon the look 
out for what they can appropriate to themselves." 
Agi^eed, as to this inference ; and I can tell him, there 
are an equal number (morej who \\ve in comparative 
affluence, who are equally upon the alert m actual 
robbery, to say nothing of mere cheats, mace-coves, 
and such like." 

How to steer clear of and to detect these, and a 
multitude of others, who are always keeping a sharp- 
look out to entrap the property of the honest part of 
the community, to lake hi and cheat the unwary, — to 
rob and pcrha})s murder the unprotected, and to make 
a prey of the unsuspecting, — are the motives for this 
publication. As the hiformation it contains is faithful 
and genuine, it cannot fail to be highly useful to the 
perambulator and resident Inhabitant, valuable as a 

guide to the occasional visitant, and entertaining to aH 
descriptions of readers. 

As will be seen in the title page, more persons than 
one have been employed in putting these sheets into 
their present form ; which will account for, and be the 
apology of a certain discrepancy of style observable in 
most of the pages ; for it was thought better to incur 
this charge, than to fritter away the pithy sense of the 
author by grinding it down to the forms ?aid rules of a 
stubborn rhetoric. 

The terms of art are explained in the vocabulary; 
to which the reader may have recourse whenever he is 
under any difficulty. Among them will be found, also, 
the English rendering of foreign phrases, which have 
been retained in the body of the work only because 
they make part of the Jlash as used by such topping 
ones as Tom Furby, the young ruffian. Bob Holloway, 
and such like old ones who knew well how to astonish 
the natives with scraps of Latin, &c. and who are 
imitated or copied by great numbers of lads upon every 
kind of lay. Women street walkers of the better sort 
affect to talk French upon all occasions, as a means of 
showing tlieir breeding. Tom's Liverpool widow is 
supposed to have introduced this species of flummery, 
and no doubt she had it from him. 

In avowdng the sources whence we have derived 
our information, we disclaim any intention of 'peaching 
those we have Jine-draivn, as v/ell as of having used il- 
legal means of coming at the secrets here disclosed . 
Were it not for such imputation, we could adduce posi- 


tive proofs of our accuracy and intimate knowledge of 
the subjects treated as would convince the most in- 
credulous reader ; and as for materials we have such a 
superabundance as would till another volume, — in- 
telligence flowing from a hundred quarters, but which 
is postponed for the present, * Suffice it to say, that 
some of us have had communications, more or less, 
with Conkey Beau, Tit Shiels, Bill Soames, Kelting 
Bight, Hoppy Cole, ]\Ir. Pullen, — little Roberts, 
Old Smith, Mr. B. Jack Pettit, Bill Colebrook, and 
almost every living soul mentioned in these pages, 
at one time or other, or under one garb or another. 

N. B. The judicious reader will see, that by our 
exposing thus accurately the modes of perpetrating 
crime, those of prevention must become apparent. 

In revishig these pages as they went to press, we 
passed over several smaller errors, which fastidious 
people may say ought to have been amended, from the 
sentiment that " one may as well be right as wrong." 
This,however, is not our feeling: we discover our 
greatest errors to have been these, 1. Spelling a man's 
name amiss; 2. Attributing the adventure of one man 

* Shortly will he published, of the same size as this 
volume, A Companion to tlie Guide ; or tlie Complete London 
Tradesiiifrn ; showiuf^ wliat are the means made use of by 
honourable men, in conduclino- theirbusiness, trade, or com- 
merce : and also what are the knaveries practised upon 
upright tradesmen, by the over-keen and disreputable amontr 
tlaemsclves. Bj the Editor of " the Guide." . 

to another ; and 3. Mistaking the strength and quality 
of some liquor, which we never tasted. If notiiing 
more important than these occur, we shall congratulate 
ourselves upon having attained a degree of perfection 
we by no means hoped for in the earlier stages of our 
labours : shoidd such have crept in, however, we be^ 
the favour of candid readers to point them out upou 
paper, directed to W. Perry, left at No. 6, Holbom 

Erratum : Pag-e 115, Hu€'6, for dark xeiSi^dank, 


lilexo-vp^ ail exposure. 

BoU^ to start oit". 

Boi.e, to run away ^^ith. 

Bowled out, discovered. 

Bon Ton, hig-li life woiiien. 

Botanical Excursion, Botany Bay, ag. 

Canister, the )iead. 

Carney, softening talk, common in Ireland. 

Cest toute autre chose, French, quite a difl'erentsort of thing. 

Cove, a man : thus. Mace Cove, Ding Cove, are 1. a cheating 

fellow; 2. a lohbing fellow. 
Cot-ess, female cheat, bawdy-house keeper, old trull. 
Cull, the dupe of prostitutes. 

Dead Nail, one who cheats, preserving* appearances. 

Ding, to carry ofi' hastily. See Cove. 

Dive, to enter tlie pocket. 

Dodge, to follow at a distance. 

Down, to be knowing- of a fact. 

Drag, cart, or heavy coach. 

Diaw, an entrapping ([uestion : to pick a pocket. 

Dro/^i, glasses J gin generally. 

Felo-de-se, Latin. Self murderer. 
Flash, to be knowing to brng. 
Flashman, preferred man. 
Fih, to batter thf bend. 
Finf!raii\ to get at a s^erret. 
Fence, or Hedge, receivers (/f stolen goods. 
Flfsh market,-^ resort of bad girls. 
Foreign Pa?7.«, transportation generally. 
Floor, to knock down. 


^di'iTiiavfry^ odd mixture, revelry; fi'om GalUmatia pro- 
bably : see Amelia, I'. 7. ch. 4. 
Klame, Terb, to vviak at or encourag-e theft. 
<3oA, the month. 
Grab, to snatch up. 
Gumption, knowing-ness. 
Hujn-Gumption, a pretending to the same. 
Gusto, Italian, taste, feeling-. 

JIad-Up, to be, police examination. 

Harridan, worn out strumpet. 

Havidge, collection of bad characters' dwellings. 

Mempen Habeas, a halter. 

Hygeia, Greek for health. 

Iter/iy hint or sly notice. 

Kedge, to liv€ upoB precarious means. 

I^ag, transportation. 

ia^, dishonest course of life. 

JLet In, at gambling, a betraying-. 

Massacree, vulg-ar for massacre, murder. 
Mealy-Mouthed, backwardness of speech. 
Mizzle (to) to g-et away slily. 

Natives, silly people. 
Nutty, amatory. 

Outre Cela, French, beyond the mark or pitch 3 Pron. 

" outray slang-." 
Opaque, dull, stupid, senseless. 
Open, [to) scold loudly. 

Pads, street robbers. 

Patter, examination before magistrates, &c. 

Penchant, French, love, attachment. 

Plant, clieatery, planned before hand. 

Pound [to) to lay pounds in a wager. 

Put upy to acquaint thieves what robbery to undertake. 


Header, a pocket book. 
Roost, bed. 

Sanctum Sanctorum, I,atii), inner or sacred place. 

Scamps., raoo-ed street thieves. 

Seedy, shabby dress. No money. 

Slang, covert hmg-uage of thieves. 

Snuffy, drunk isli. 

Snoozing Ken, a sleeping- house. 

Spar, fighting demonstrated. 

Spree, fun. 

Spill (to) to betray. 

Stag (to) to look hiird at; as slags or deers do on all intruders. 

Szveet, kind, concihiting-. 

Take In, a cheat. 

Take it In, to swallow a lie. 

Thing, (a 1 a robbery. 

The Things, stolen articles. 

Toggery, clothing. 

Touting, eyeing- the women, generally. 

Town, London. 

Upon the Town, street walkers, men or women. 

Trade, (the) smuggling. 

Transmogrify, to change. 

Turned I//;, ruined. 

To have Turnips (tnrn-nps) a refusal or denial. 

Twig (to) to eye one jiarliculurly. 

Vestal, ironical for an incontinent person. 

Verburn Sat. Latin, means — " u word to iho wise is euoiigh/" 

IVhopj a blow or sl-^p. 



^c. cVc. S^'c, 


Most people come up to town by coaches and 
waggons, a few on foot, and fewer still by water; 
therefore the inns at which the former put up, 
are places of especial resort for thieves and cheats 
of a better sort. The little public houses on the 
outskirts, as well as those along shore, are fre- 
quented by a very ordinary and more desperate 
set. All are upon the sharp look-out for dupes ; 
the innocent, the artless, and the unwary, are 
alike their prey. The very sight of a country- 
man sharpens their appetite, especially if he 
brings his wife with him, because she embar- 
rasses his movements. I cannot then compare 



the expression of their countenances to any thing 
so like, as that of a sportsman when he sees a 
covey of partridges rise from the stubble. — 
Sometimes the likeness is greater, when two sharp- 
ers, like two sportsmen, pursuing the same game, 
meet unexpectedly : *' What are you after ?'* 
demands one, " Catching of flats," is the reply ; 
and they cordially join in hunting down their 

Smashing is the first depredation to which 
strangers are exposed, upon setting foot in Lon- 
don, and consists in passing bad money in change, 
or pretending you yourself have paid such base 
coin. Without particularising any one descrip- 
tion of characters at the inns, who would, be more 
likely than another to practise this species of 
cheatery, I must be allowed to say, they are all 
liable — Coachmen, guards, clerks, and waiters — 
to be themselves imi)osed upon, and although 
woi guilty^ are nevertheless likely to pass bad 
money. The original evil arises with fellows who 
hang about the iini yards, pretending to make 
themselves vsefiiJ, or selling and buying some 
article or other ; some of these we shall have oc- 
casion to say a word or two about, under the 
title of " Jobbers," and others called " DuF- 
roRs or BuFFORs." 


Thus, while we ai-e yet writhig, it is placed 
upon record, that the hangers-on^ or helpers, at 
the great public inns, are engaged in the most 
dangerous species of cheatery ; one of those w^e- 
ful persons, at the Swan with Two Necks, Lad- 
lane, was brought to Hatton Garden office, Ja- 
nuary 28, 1818, charged with passing bad notes, 
&c. *' He had been in the habit, ^oxfour years 
before, of procuring customers to go by their 
coaches, for which he received a pecuniary re- 
ward," said the clerk at that inn : to this infor- 
mation Mr. John Lees, inspector of bank notes 
at the Bank of England, stated to the magistrates, 
" that there was scarcely a coach-office in town 
but forged notes (similar to that now produced 
from the Swan J had been passed at, and after- 
wards brought into the bank." 

About a year before this, a " jobber," one 
George Meacock, who " hung about'' the Queen's 
Head, corner of St. John's Street, for years, under 
the appearance of a general dealer and smuggler, 
and was supposed to be rich, since he lived com- 
fortably, — was hanged for the same offence. He 
was always furnished with good smooth whites ; 
which, according to the time of day^ was the 
flash for bad shillings, as screens is for forged 
. notes of the Bank of England. 



The name of the first-mentioned culprit is 
James Law, quite a youth, who will,- probably^ 
receive the reward of his early crimes about the 
time of the appearance of this publication. How 
can tlie honester part of th9se who are engaged 
about inn yards avoid coming in contact, and 
partaking in the corruption, while they are 
daily in the habit ol' seeing so many others ac- 
tively employed in such nefarious transactions, 
as the passing bad money, or the representations 
of moiiey ? To what extent it is carried, with 
such means at their disposal, remains to be gues- 
sed at, since there is no probability of making a 
calculation. As bad silver is always stirring in 
great abu.idance at the inns, so upon the road ; 
those of the drivers who have been contaminated, 
seldom give change without tendering base 
money, more or less : it happens at times that 
they give nothiug but bad, so that the cheat is 
not discoverable upon comparison. 

Not only must the New comer be upon his 
guard against bad-money, but must be as much 
prepared to meet the less refined depredator who 
would purloin his boxes and other baggage. 

As soon as a coach enters an inn yard, it is 
followed or met by persons, who either actually 
expect friends by it, or pretend they do ; to« 


gether with those idle fellows who constantly 
haug about coach yards, without other visible 
means of livelihood than what they can pick up, 
and are therefore said to be " upon the hedge.'' 
But inn yards are nothing like so much infested 
as they were twenty years ago, because of the 
officers, who take away the offenders, " when 
they are wanted," but not until then, as it 
would not be worth their while. A complete 
clearance might be made, but the men not having 
done any thing capital^ that is to say, reward- 
able by statute, the offi( ers do not choose to in- 
terrupt them, and they accordingly go on nib- 
bling, until something gi'eat turns up, — and then 
justice interferes. 

Tl.e plan is, when the things lie about pro- 
miscuously, for the thief to become offii ious, as 
if willing to be serviceable ; he looks about in a 
simple manner, asks an unmeaning question of 
one or other of the passengers, as if they were 
well known to each other; and then turning 
about with a smile, he takes up some box or 
bundle which he pretends to carry tovi'ards the 
house, or to the scales (as the case may be) where 
the baggage ought to go, still keeping near to. or 
talking with the same passenger as before. Mean- 
while, having taken a view of all being dear out 



ofsi^ht, he bolts off in quick time; next takes 
to his heels, and making a double turn or two 
round the corners, he eludes pursuit, much less 

Coachmen and guards, belonging to the mails 
and stage coaches, are mostly honest men, as the 
times go ; many of them are of high character, 
and somebecoaie proprietors, and defy the world. 
But the practices of " shouldering" passengers, 
on their own account — doing the natives out of 
articles of life, which they bring to town to dis- 
pose of — the dealing in contraband goods, and a 
number of other out-of-the-way methods, — to say 
nothing of the wish to appear over-cunning, — 
bring ihem to ** take care of things," for which 
there is no immediate owner. The feelings once 
blunted by one improper pursuit, leave their 
owner open to the fascinations of another, till at 
length the quality of the crime is no longer an 
object of soliciiude. 

This remark is ujore pointedly applicable to 
short stage and hackney coachmen ; the latter of 
whom are mostly " turned-off characters" — a 
few are *' returned lags;" of course neither the 
one or the other are to be trusted out of sight, — 
nor yet scarcely in your sight. 

If gloves, a handkerchief, a shawl, or other 


small article be left iii the coach, it may be known 
by Jam's taking off his hat and placing it in the 
coach; theu holding the door tight behind him, 
he deposits thearticleybwHc/ in the poll of his hat^ 
which he puts on his head. 

N. B. Whatever coachman mancenvres the door 
of, his coach, he is at no good : the hackney man 
keeps Ids open to prevent his number from ob- 
truding itself upon your notice ; the stage- 
coachmaii keeiis his tight against his back, the 
better to conceal what he is at. The landlord of 
the tap, or watering house, the next barber's 
shop, or cobbler's stall, are the places to enquire 
what is become of the things, generally speaking. 
At every inn yard there are a kind of " hangers 
on," as we mentioned higher up, who ar© men 
of the worst character, since they affect an in- 
tegrity they do not possess, and therefore are 
sometimes entrusted when they ought not to be. 
They are vastly familiar with the people really 
employed ; they run of errands, and carry mes- 
sages; and if there is a thing to be dune upon the 
sly, they get off with impunity, because the per- 
son whose immediate business it should be to de- 
tect him, is induced to wink at, in hopes of shar- 
ing the depredation. Sometimes they hang about 
the tap-room for entire days, to hand off what 


may come to hand (by the coaches) either of 
contraband or of stolen property ; at other times 
they are employed to stand at some given place — 
as the corner of an avenue, or under the gate- 
waj^ to catch hold of what may be thrown down 
to them frond the coaches, with a view either to 
cheat the proprietors, the revenue, or the right 
owners. See more on this subject under the 
head of *' wagering kiddies," or gamblers of the 
lower sort. 

Most guards have a particular tune upon their 
horns for every different species of service, known 
onl}'^ to each his own particular dependant, which 
gives a wonderful facility to their manoeuvres. 
I have sat down with the landlord of a tap-room, 
who, without looking out, would remark, " here 
comes i^uch-a-one ;" " Jemmy is in first," and 
the like notice, showing his great familiarity with 
the tunes : and then again " run out and pick 

up *s basket ;" or " here's a pig coming this 

time." In this manner giving facility to the 
concealmfmt and disposal of ill-gotten articles of 

In the year 1815, the G mail brought 

up one hundred and twenty pieces of India hand- 
kerchiefs wcc'kly — forty in a bundle. No one 
could imagine how such an article should come 


from that place; nor is it our business or inclina- 
tion to enquire how they got there. It was plea- 
sant to see the hani^ers-on scamper away with the 
square bundle of a morning ; sometimes from 
one point, sometimes from another, taking care 
not to make their deposit at the same place too 

From all this, the reader must be aware, that 
persons so employed, are not trustworthy with his 
luggage, and that he would do well to see after 
it witn his own eyes ; for if he permit one of the 
officious hangers-on to meddle with it, no op- 
portunity will slip by unimproved, even though 
the coachman and guard are standing near. These 
are not a check sufficiently strong upon his dis- 
honesty, since he is himself duicn to so many ef 
their tricks — such as " shouUleriag," and the 
like, that they dare not interfere in his " nib- 

Shouldering^ among coachmen, is that species 
of cheating in which they take the fares and 
pocket them, generally of such passengers as they 
overtake on the road, or who come ac-oss the 
country ; but it not unfrequently happens that 
they take passengers the whole line of their run, 
€ven when the proprietors scarcely have one in- 
side for themselves. A curious story of this na- 


ture is told by an old man in Lad Lane, that 
when he and a certain great man there, \tere up- 
on the same coach, not one of six inside passen- 
gers were down upon the way-bill ; and, that he 
liaving proposed to give their employers at least 
one of them, the great man threatened to kick 
him for this puling conduct, and did actually 
collar him; and applied to him the words — 

"fool, rascal, and b thief." Thus it is, 

the worst spoke in the wheel generally cries out 
the first. — They " shouldered''' the whole six ! 

Those who travel much by stage coaches, 
should always take care to see themselves booked, 
as in case of accident, they cannot recover da- 
mages against the proprietors without it. 

Every one knows (and their employers know it) 
that hackney coachmen invariably share with 
their masters in large proportions. Those often 
get good prizes left in their coaches, by people 
who carelessly leave their boxes or parcels be- 
hind, in the hurry to meet their friends ; or what 
is more general, those who take out their papers, 
money, pocket-book, &c. to look over in a 
' hackney^ coach, in order, as they thiuk, to save 
time, too often leave some part behind them ; or, 
by the motion of the coach get it jostled out ef 
their hands. At no time has a hackney man been 


known to restore to its rightful owner such things 
as may have been so left, at the earliest opportu- 
nity, nor unless a handsome reward is offered. 

By the way, the number of a hackney coach 
should be always noted the moment it is called 
(or ordered) ; and in so '* calling" them, as well 
as every word that is said to the coachman, a 
certain air of command or authority should be 
kept up. This holds them to their tethers ; tells 
them they have no green-horn to deal with, and 
deters them from extorting too much for the fare. 
If a person, meekly or hesitatingly, gives his or- 
ders, the coachman and attendant icaterman pass 
the word " Johnny Raw ;" or if it be a lady, 
they protract the sound of " Ma'am" to her; — 
thus, " yes M-a-a-m" and '* no M-a-a-a-m." 

When a coach is called from the stand, the 
waterman opens the door as it draws near you, in 
order to prevent the number, which hangs on it, 
from obtruding itself on your sight : at setting 
down, the coachman, with the same view, keeps 
open the door whilst he gets paid, especially if 
there be a dispute ; or, if he twigs something 
left behind, he slaps the steps or the door, so as 
to make the horses move on a step or two ; he 
then halloos at them with who-o-o ; swears a good 
peal of oaths at them, to intimidate his cus- 


tomers, and then resumes the dispute, if con- 

li" a hackney coachman be a smasher, or dealer 
in bad silver, he endeavours to set down his fares 
(by night) in a dark place, if possible, in total 
disre^ard of your orders, generally quarrels with 
his horses, should he be obliged to take them by 
the heads, — which quarrel is sometimes meant 
for his customers. He most frequently "throws 
off," or talks to his horses of " the precious good 
looking load they have been " dragging :" »* no 
great shakes; I'll bet a pound of my own mow^y,'* 
he will say, while making the animals stand ; 
and if you supervent his attempts at smashing, 
he mounts his box, with the observation — " You 
knows about as much as /do, mastee ;'* but if 
you reply sharply, rebuking his impertinence, he 
does not hesitate to charge you with crime, by 
inuendo, as ** Vhere did you come from? I 
vonder !" making a motion as if you had come 
from a prison; and adding, "you'll soon be 
bowled outy I'll be bound." Such is a fair 
sample of tiie conduct of the far greater number 
of hackney coachmen. 

Smashing is managed thus — a bad shilling or 
two, or a half-crown, is placed in the left hand 
between the lingers, and the hand is then half- 


closed upon them; which operation is performed 
while lie tugs at the coach door to let you out. 
— (Those w^ho smash under other circumstances 
have more leisure to prepare themselves). Should 
" the fare" want change for a pound note, the 
result is no longer doubtful : three or four s'riil- 
lings, at least, " come to his share." But the 
chiefest ingenuity is, to persuade you that you 
yourself have tendered bad money to poor Jarvis ; 
who, after turning your money over and over, 
and perhaps taking a trial upon the stones, de- 
clares they ring bad, and you must change them 
for good ones. If you appear tolerably " ^oft,^ 
and will " stand it," he perhaps refuses these 
also, after having *' rung the changes''' once 
more. This is called " a double do ;" and then, 
lest the transaction may have been " stagged" 
by some irap€:rtinent by-stander, or a trap, he 
mounts his box, and drives away with the utmost 

N. R. Whe.'never a hackney coachman thus 
drives -off in a great hurry, rely upon it some- 
thing is the uiatter ; in which case, he does not 
pull up at the next coach stand, but drives past 
it, " standiag for no repairs." 

Every one should be apprized, the moment 
they arrive in town, or rather btfore they enter it, 


of the absolute necessitj' there is of taking the 
number of a hackney coach as soon as it is called. 
Servants ought to have this salutary precaution 
impressed on their minds ; as also, that as soon 
as any company comes to the door of their 
masters in a hackney coach, they should set down 
in their memories, if not in chalk or in ink, what 
number it bears. If a reward were paid for such 
vigilance, when any thing has been recovered by 
that means, it would add to the stimulus, and 
have an increasin"; o-ood effect. 

As well as riding is effected more securely by 
affecting an ease or knowingness, which deters 
imposition in a great degree. We spoke higher 
up of assuming an air of authority in giving orders 
to ha<:kney coachmen ; no less serviceable is it to 
appear like a thorough bred ceckney in your 
gait and manner, by placing tbe hat a little 
awry, and with an unconcerned stare, penetrating 
the wily countenances of the rotiucs;, you attain 
one more chance, at least, of escaping the snares 
that are always laid to entrap the countryman or 
new comer : these latter are easily ri'cognised by 
their provincial gait, dialect, and! cut of llie 
cloth ; by the interest they take in t]ie\ commonest 
occurrences imaginable, and the braid stare of 


wonder at every thing they see. Such men attract 
the attention of passers-by oi every decree; and, 
it would be surprising indeed, if the knavish part 
of the community did not endeavour to profit by 
the want of knowledge apparent in Johnny New- 
come, or Johnny Raw, as such men are aptly 
called. He is followed for miles, sometimes for 
an entire day or more, by a string of pickpockets 
or highwaymen, until they can find an opportu- 
nity to clu him. It came out on the examination 
of Sethard, for robbing A. Anderson, that he 
and his companions had followed their victim from 
the waterside to Mincing Lane, thence to the 
Hercules, in Leadenhall Street, where the foolish 
man counted over his money ; thence to Snow 
Hill, and back again to the corner of St. Martin's 
le-Grand, w^here they hustled and robbed him of 
near sev-tuty pounds, the hard earnings of twenty 
years at sea ; and all this by broad day -light ! 

Walking the streets has been reduced to a 
system in London ; every one taking the right 
hand of another, whereby confusion is avoided ; 
thus, if you walk from St, Paul's towards the 
Royal Exchange, you will be entitled to the wall 
of those you 7«6'6'# all the way ; whereas, if you 
cross over, you must walk upon the kirb stone. 
The contrary mode is a sure indication of a person 
c 2 


being a stranger, or living at the outskirts of 
town, and is certain of attracting attention to bis 
awkwardness (a thing always to be avoided.) A 
pickpocket will hustle such an one against his 
^"^omplice in the day time ; the stranger will be 
irritated no doubt, and express his indignation, 
\v:hich will be the better for the rogues : in a 
half-minute's altercation, they get the best of 
the jaw, because the loudest and most impudent ; 
— a spar or two ensues, in which he who pretends 
to support the stranger to the ways of town, draws 
him of his pocket-book, or his watch, if he has 
either, a fact tliey take care to ascertain before- 
hand. Money in the breeches pockets, can only 
be come at in a crowd, or hy Jiooring the victim ; 
the former of which is most usually, but the latter 
very seldom, |jert6rmed in the day-time. 

From all this, my reader will see the necessity 
of cautiously, yet energetically, pursuing his 
way, without dread or doubt ; since it is better 
to walk a little out of the right path, than run the 
risk of being directed wrong : to steer clear of 
assembLiges in the streets, by going round them, 
or presMijg rather vudely through them ; whereby 
you beconje liie ussailanl, if I may be allowed 
the torm, and add one more chance of steerinii: 
cU*ar of danger. 



This way of obtaining the property of others, 
is certainly the most genteel, profitable, and 
alluring of any, because it requires some degree 
of ingenuity to exercise it properly, and a great 
deal of address and firmness to get off without 
detection. Professors of the art are admired for 
their dexterity, by every one but the immediate 
losers ; and people laugh at the dioll way in 
which the sufferers relate how they were done. 
1 have myself seen two friends just as they found 
out that one of them had lost his Reader or Tattler ; 
—to see the vacant stare of the one, and the 
broad grin of the other, was to me as high fun, 
almost, as the actual possession of the property. 
Even magistracy itself seldom looks half so glum 
upon a predatory marauder of this order as he 
does upon a night robber, a housebreaker, or 
a highwayman. Whenever the prosecution is 
brought Uj3 to the point of conviction, the pro- 
secutor always leans to the side of mercy ; and 
the capital is " taken off':" one never hears of a 
pickpocket being hung. 

Lagging is the worst tliey can come to. Lucky 
dog that 1 was, in adopting so safe, so genteel. 


and such a productive part of the calling ! What- 
ever may be said of it, now I have given over the 
pursuit, I must say 1 have done a violence to my 
taste, as an amusement, however good the relin- 
quishment may be as to morals. If the oppor- 
tunity were to arrive of choosing again, I scarcely 
know which line of conduct I should take ; but 
having so taken it, I am determined to be sin- 
cere, and 1 mean to be a little more particular in 
the details of this my favourite pursuit than up- 
on other toj ics ; although these are all collected 
out of the mouths of each the first in his profes- 
sion, livii.g or dead, at home and abroad. 

Abhoui^h the officeu's constantly patrole the 
streets, or ought to do so, yet they suffer well- 
known thieves to mix in the crowds that assemble 
around print-shops, and other showy exhibitions 
of goi)ds. If a horse tumblts, or a woman faints, 
away they run to encrease the crowd, and the 
confusion ; they create a bustle, and try over the 
pockets of unsuspecting persons ; till at length, 
having marked out one, the liccomplice shoves 
him hard up against other persons, (perhaps 
some of the gang) who naturally repress the in- 
trusion. Thus wedged in, they next hit him on 
the head (more or less hard), when he, to save his 
hat, or to resent the insult, lifts up his arms, a 


third or a fourth still farther behind gives one 
more shove, rams his fl at hand against the belly 
of the person marked out to he dojie, and pulls 
out his watch. If it t*e his pocket-book they are 
after, they lift up the skirts of his coat to come at 
his inside pocket ; b-ut should it lie on his breast, 
then the rogue, whO' is next to the victim, seizes 
his collar and drags, until the buttons give way, 
or there is space eciough between the coat and 
the body for the accomplice to thrust in his arm. 
So situated, it is clear that every other pocket 
must be liable to a visit, the breeches not except- 
ed. As he in th.e rear is generally a short man, 
or a boy, he thi'usts in underneath the arms of 
the accomplices, who make room for him on pur- 
pose, and lie is thus enabled to pick two or three 
pockets at leisure, especially in large crowds ; 
such as a boxing match, or my Lord Mayor's 
Show. Upon the last mentioned occasion, the 
chief place for the sport is Ludgate Hill, though 
the whole range from Blackfriars to Guildhall 
aifords a fine harvest, from the moment my lord 
takes water to his return home. On that day 
the gangs assemble regularly, and enter the city 
at various points. For many years the practice 
has been to station two women, of good stout 
growth, near the place of operation, who receive 

20 LORD mayor's show — RESORTS. 

the lev/ stray articles that may be picked up be- 
fore the grand rush is made, when they join in^ 
and increase, the confusion. Some ten or twelve 
men, mostly armed with sticks, are attached to 
these women, and act in concert on one side of 
the hill, while a gan^ similarly composed take 
thet)ther side, and numerous smaller detachments, 
and single rogues, are strewed about in all 

As the procession advances, the first object is 
to create a bustle, and if possible a fight. They, 
therefore, inclose between them a few people of 
respectable appearance, and prei>s them forward 
rudely ; those in front resent this, pretending to 
be offended, and thrust back those next to them ; 
the sticks go to work upon the heads, and the ac- 
complice embracing his fellow, reaches round at 
the fob, or pockets of the victim, whose hands are 
emi)loyed in protecting his head. 
The trunk-maker's corner was, for many years, 
the spot for making a stand at ; and the articles 
stolen usicd to walk up the Old Bailey to Whet- 
stone-park come;-. But things of this sort must 
change in a course of years, lor the very circum- 
stance of this exposure must of necessity compel 
alteration, to prevent detection. Yet again, on 
• onsideratioii, this is not so certain, since tliere 

DaNGEU of detection — STAGGING. 21 

ape not a greater set of fools in the world than 
your hackneyed thieves : they have been known 
to throw themselves in the way of certain detec- 
'tion, or, to stand, like the silly penguin, to be 
knocked down ; when, at the same time, a good 
run for it, would have preserved them in safety. 
N. B. But should a pickpocket take to his heels, 
and be easily distinguished from his followers, it 
is not always advisable to stop him ; unless in- 
deed, you are fond of a bit of a spree, or admire 
being in trouble, as is exemplified in the simple 
narrative of a writer " on the police," who has not 
thought proper to give us his name. He says, 
** that he detected a daring noon-day robber, and 
brought him to conviction.*" Again, he observes, 
*< To be candid, I must confess that my cure for 
stagging, was accelerated by means of certain 
bruises and fractures which I received from the 
hands of three or four of these gently, and that 
close to my own house. Very few shopkeepers 
would undergo a second tune, so much trouble 
and expenceas I then did ; and, therefore, I do not 
blush to avow that I forfeited rr y recognizance 
in one instance, and have passecl over the detec- 
tion of several others to avoid consequences so 

* See New Monthly Magazine, X st June, 1817— signed 
" A Constant Reader." page 309. 


inimical to my repose." What is niore, they caiK 
mostly light a bit, and some are armed with 
knives, which they would not hesitate to use in a 

Strangers, and silly persons, who are the chief 
objects with the pickpockets, are not better 
known by their tirst appearance, than from the 
ill-advised custom of asking the way, and stand-* 
ing gapino^ at the names of the streets, as if in 
doubt which road to take. Thij being a sure 
indication that they are at a loss, and of course 
confused, such a person is perhaps accosted, and 
misdirected into some street or lane more adapted 
to the robbers' purpose ; and there met again, or 
overtaken by one, two, or three others, he is 
either hustled, or his pockets neatly picked, or he 
is knocked doicii with a bludgeon. I'herelbre it is 
recommendubie, that no one should ask his way 
in the street^., but in decent shops, or, at most, 
of persons carrying small parcels, which indicate 
they are shopmen or porters : thieves do not go 
about encumbered in that manner, at least not 
liilherto ; but tbey might possibly adopt it here- 
alter, frou) thi» hint, as tiie best method of 
catcliiiiir Jluts. iVever nsk your road of a gentle- 
man, in appearance ; if he be a real one, he either 
-will not coiulcsceiid to answer, or more probably 


tloes not know any more than yourself ; and for 
a better reason — that thieves frequently go well- 
dr^essed, especially pickpockets ; good toggery^ 
bein;^ considered a necessary qualification for his 
calling, without which the Diver could not pos- 
sibly mix in genteel company, nor approach such 
in the streets. But the close observer may al- 
ways discover in the dress of the genteel pick- 
pocket, some want of unity, or shabby article, as 
a rusty hat, or the boot-tops in bad order, or a 
dirty shirt and cravat : He may come at the 
same conclusion, by noticing an article of dress 
which has been made at the top of the mode, 
some long while before the other parts of his 
dress, together with similar attempts to appear 
the would-be gentleman of ton, Mx. Pulleu 
was, however, an exception to this general rule : 
the neatness and uniformity of his rigging, from 
top to toe, his cleanliness, the mild smirk of his 
red face, and at length his age, contributed to 
render him as truly tespectable looking a pick- 
pocket, as we shall ever find again. A curious 
proof how far this feeling regarding Mr. Pulleu 
may be carried, will be learnt from the followmi;- 
anecdote. Mr. PuUen found occasion to go into 
a public house at some part of town distant from 
the usual haunts. He w^as here in close conver- 


sation with two gentlemen, when the master of 
the house beckoned him out, and gave him lecwff 
of ab sense, "T shall go instantly, — butmyctine 
and gloves lie in that corner," replied Mr. Pul- 
len. To this Boniface objected, ordered him to 
'* evacuate the premises," without the goods, and 
proceeded to acts of violence ; the two strangers 
interfered, protected ** the respectable looking 
old gentleman," as they called him, disbeliev- 
ing the landlord's information, which they attri- 
buted either to a hoax, or to rnalice, and went off 
in triumph to another house. What is more, 
they handed him along arm in arm between them, 
and he could scarcely get liberty to speak a word 
to a nice crummy j^oung woman, who seemed 
surprised and interested at his situation. " He 
wished to send home a message by her," he said ; 
but the two boobies would not lose sight, and 
did but just loosen their hold. The interview- 
was abridged by their intrusion, and with the use 
of a little force, the fair frail one was permitted 
to pursue her way. 

But what a tragedy ! One of the strangers lost 
his pocket-book, soon after he had occupied hi:* 
present seat, as he said, and the other a small 
packet of less value. They suspected their new 
acquaintance, and he was searched by consent, 


but nothing was found upon him, though the 
packet was discovered under a chair at a distaiHt 
part of the room. As none of the parties had gone 
out ; they were the more puzzled the more they 
thought how it could have been lost. The fact 
is, briefly, that the female carried it off; the loser 
having been mistaken in saying, he had felt it 
since he entered the room ; — a warning to people 
how cautious they should be in stating unneces- 
sary particulars, too hastily. 

Here was a very neat and clean ]oh done, and 
all safe and right ; and is that sort of practice 
which for distinction's sake is termed " picking 
of pockets,'* simply ; though hustling, and 
knocking down, or tripping up are the same thing 
prastised with more violence. We will, there- 
fore, describe all those methods as carried on 
against single persons. 

The pickpocket who does the thing '* neatly," 
as the phrase is, goes alone ; or, at most, two to- 
gether. His intention is not to use violence, and 
he even avoids being felt at work ; for which 
reason the law has made it capital felony to exe- 
cute his task so adroitly as not to be discovered 
in the act of taking ; notwithstanding which law, 
he always endeavours to incur the highest crime. 


while the juc^ge as invariahly apportions to him, 
t?ie lesser punishment. 

For the accomplishment of his purpose, he 
walks the crowded streets, and tries the pockets 
of various passers by ; till at length he finds the 
situation of the pocket-booJx, — which has been the 
favourite aim ever since the extensive circulation 
of ])ank-notes. If it occupies the outer coat 
pocket, the task is easy : he dips his hand into 
the pocket, spreading his fingers to keep open 
the top, and with the forefinger and thumb draws 
it forth. Sometimes out it comes, easily, which 
will be the case if not near so large as the pocket; 
but should it stick, or hang by something else, 
the rogue stands no repairs, but pulls away by 
main force. 

During the first part of the operation, and pre- 
viously, he has walked a step or two cheek-by- 
jowl with the jicrson to be robbed ; he looks 
about smiling, (to take off the attention of those 
who may be near behind,) as if they were ac- 
quaintance, and the thing a mere matter of 
course and familiarity. A thin worn-out great 
coat, flowing open, is an excellent screen. 

If the thing to be drawn is heavy, and its 
weight might be instantly missed, he presses 
equally hard upon the edj^e of the pocket, or 


stoops a little to take hold of tlie bottom, gives 
a jirk, steps upon the heel, or jostles against the 
person done ; then seems to beg pardon, and runs. 
For the inside skirt coat-pocket, he lifts up the 
skirt or tail, and out comes the pocket-book. 
Should a button impede the way out, a little 
kniff, fastened to the hand, soon removes that 

N. B. Whenever you are jostled against, or 
your heel is trodden ujjon, you may suspect that 
person, and he who is nearest to you on the other 

Two are much safer to get off than one, as the 
second keeps a good look-out; and he it is that 
goes off with the prize, having received it from 
him who first took it. This one, being next to the 
victim, il" seized, as is most likely, kicks up a row, 
and uses the most disgusting language ; or, in 
c[uite other tones, offers to pursue him who has 
gone off; but in fact, in pursuing;, throws obstacles 
ia the way of others; but should he come up 
with, and overtake him in the hand of justice, 
they together fight away if possible to efiect an 
escape ; sometimes dropping the thing stolen, 
at other times it gets handed to a confederate, 
who perhaps has the audacity to claim the pro- 
perty as his own, 



Many women are as expert as men, and thej 
always have one or two at hand upon great occa- 
sions, as I said before. They are furnished with 
a species of pocket which completely encircles 
their bodies, coming down half way to the 
knees ; if the wearer be somewhat stout and 
bulky, it is clear she can conceal a good deal. 
Besides, if she be searched upon suspicion, the 
^ articles will traverse from before to behind, and 
back again, with a very small quantity of dex- 
trousness ; and she would thus elude discovery 
by any ordinary scrutiny of her person. The 
same sort of pocket is used in shop-lifting. 

Women who walk the streets at night, are in- 
variably pickpockets ; and I see no reason to set 
down those who by day entice the men into their 
dens, any thing better. Such as stand at the 
corners of lanes and courts, inviting men to stop, 
are clumsy hands, but contrive to pick up a 
good harvest occasionally : they rob indiscri- 
minately every article of dress, knocking off the 
silly (perhaps drunken) man's hat in the street, 
with which tlie accomplice runs away ; at other 
times they will take off his cravat, while bestow- 
ing upon him their salacious caresses. A broach, 
or shirt-pin, is constantly made good prize of, 
but should the deluded man enter one of tliost; 


pestiferous abodes, which are so numerous in this 
metropolis, the loss of all he has is inevitable. 

N. B. It is recommended over again not to be 
stopped in tlie streets, even by a handsome wo- 
man, though that should be by day. They have 
great nimbleness of lingers, and convey away 
your property while talking you into a silly 
passion for their persons, 

Although it seems brutish to rebuke a woman 
who should press against you in a crowd, in a 
church, at an auction, or in the streets, yet this 
should be done. At the Rev. Rowland Hill's 
meeting house, the women attend as well as the. 
men pickpockets ; they are found amongst tlie 
crowd of a procession to St. Paul's, and in fact 
at every collection of people. Such women 
amuse you with asking silly questions ; perhaps 
complain to you of some man who is pressing her, 
while one of her accomplices rifles your pockets in 
the mean time, from behind another accomplice, 
who keeps his arms up so as to prevent yours 
from defending your propert3^ Perhaps she 
seizes your arm, as if for protection, but in fact 
to keep you from using it. 

One very excellent trick for a woman to per- 
form is, to turn round quick upon the gentle- 
man to be robbed, and running hard against him, 


endeavour to touch him in the wind, pretending 
herself to be very much hurt. Her accomplices 
are beliind, and improve upon the accident, by 
embracing the victim ; and the hindermost is 
generally the thief who hands off the property. 
It must be present to every one's mind, that 
when a person is hit upon the belly, or pit of the 
stomach— and those women are taught how to 
place their blows — he will naturally bend from, 
the effects of the blow : At that moment it is, 
he loses his watch, a dive is made into his breeches 
pocket, and both are drawn ; and if the lady's 
hurt is very bad, (that is, well played off) his 
pocket-book goes to wreck also. 

This same trick of turning round, is also 
practised by two or three men ; and a good 
method is to stoop suddenly down, whereby the 
person to be robbed comes wholly, or in part, to 
the ground ; and during the struggle to recover 
himself, or the efforts of tiie accomplice to assist 
him, the job is efl'ected. 

Ladies who press to the windows of drapers 
shops are fine game. When they wore pockets 
with hoops, scarcely any operation in all the light 
finger trade was easier than the dive, or putting 
in one's hand ; afterwards, on the disuse of the 
hoop, the thing was performed by a short fellow. 


©r boy, g^etting between the legs of the accomplice 
(a tall one) and spreading the petticoats, cut off 
the pockets, with a knife attached to the hand. 
The practice of cutting pockets is much lessen- 
ed of late years, why, I know not for certain ; but 
apprehend the fear of incurring the penalty of 
Lord Ellenborough's act, may have had its ef- 
fect ; and since there are several methods of 
achieving the same thing, there could be no pos- 
sible reason why the safest should not be adopt- 
ed. Any other course of proceeding would be 
foolish, to say no worse of it. A capital small 
blade, set in a ring for the middle finger, or the 
thumb, was a much better contrivance than the 
common penknife, or the sliding blade ; because 
their right hand can be employed in cutting, and 
grabbing the money at one and the same time, 
whilst the left is engaged no less usefully in 
bothering his gob. This latter, is nothing more 
than placing the flat hand (back or palm) over 
the mouth, (or gob) of a fellow who is hkely to 
sing out ; at the same time taking care that it 
shall seem to him the effect of accident, not 
capable of being reckoned uncivil, if the busi- 
ness sho aid come to a patter. In all mobs whei e 
there is not sufficient noise, this botheruig the 
^ob, is invariably had recourse to ; the fellew 


might otherwise call oat "pickpockets," or some 
such stuff, when he felt the things going from 
his person. 

Notwithstanding the generally received notion, 
that pickpockets are an innocent race of mortals, 
who merely purloin a little of your pelf, yet no- 
thi[jgcan be more contrary to the real fact. No 
means of escape would be left untried, in case of 
detection, even although that should cost the 
life of an individual or two. They are invariably 
taught boxing, scientijiciill^', women as well as 
men ; I mean, so far, as how to place a blow or 
two with the happiest effect. Indeed, picking of 
pockets frequently assumes the character of foot- 
pad robbery, having all its characteiistic features 
of force, and violenceof conduct on tlie part of the 
perpetrators. This brings me to speak of that 
next species of robbery by those who are appro- 
priately termed Scamps, called 


Which is performed in various ways, as suits the 
present situation of both parties. Higher up, 
I described the way in which the persons to be 
done, are crannued together, in order to be rob- 
bed. The next degree of violence is that where 
the arms are seized from behind by one, wliilst 
the other frisks the pockets of their content?. 


Just the same end is obtained b}- picking an 
instant quarrel, and collaring the victim, pull 
him forward ; while he is thus upon the stoop, 
the accomplice takes a dive into his pockets, 
handing off whatever he may find to a third ac- 
complice, who perhaps has been inakingfr^e use 
of his stick promiscnously over the heads of all 
parties. Another plan is to seize him by the 
collar of the coat behind, and pull him backwards: 
he must be a rum customer, indeed, if lie gets 
over this, and a dig in the guts in front; for hav- 
ing lost wind, he will not recover it again until 
his property is irrecoverable, 

A more daring hustle is, where a person being 
run against violently, as if by accident, and his 
arms kept down, forcibly ; while tl^ accomplice, 
pretending to take " the gentleman's" part, 
draws either his watch, money or book. More 
cannot well be done in an instant thing like this. 
Should the pair come down whop, it is far the 
better for the thieves ; they both get up, pardon 
is begged, and they part as quickly as possible. 
The sufferer, in adjusting his dress, then first 
discovers he has been robbed. Those who give 
preference to this mode of do, are of the secon- 
dary sort of thieves, not at all to be considered 
clever ; they mostly wear short jackets, (at least 
APe of them) the better to effectuate escape by 


runniiig, the cloth being made smooth;, if not slip- 
pery, with grease, &c. their 0[)eratioiis seldom 
commence until dusk; they never attack other 
than single persons ; and the fall of the year, is 
the most prolific in this sort of crime. 

If tl;is be not " foot-pad robbery," I know not 
what is ; the only difference seems to lie in that 
robber who (/e?«a«f/A' the proj)ert3n none case, in the 
other he takes it without asking. The genuine 
decent pickpocket, who does the trick in a neat 
way, deems himself insulted in being classed w ith 
those, as well as with the following description 
of street robbers : He decries the use of violence 
upon the person robbed, unless it be in self- 
defence, and to make his escape. 

Women hustle at night, while bestowing their 
unasked for caresses, adroitly entering your 
);ockets should you come in contact with them. 
A short lass, and a tall or big one, are the best 
adapted to this business: the former forcibly 
contending with thelatterthe promised enjoyment, 
seizes you round the middle lasciviously, when 
the business is done neatly ; she hands over the 
things to her companion, who moves off instantly, 
while the other keeps you in tow until the booty 
is out of I each, and then she becomes uneasy 
until she herself is safely out of vour sii>ht. liut 


should you charge the watchman with her per- 
son, you would not recover the property, and the 
charge falls to the ground as a matter of course. 
I have frequently known both women brought in 
and searched, but nothing was found upon them ; 
in such cases they have a third accomplice, but 
generally the stolen things have been deyjosited 
in some nook or corner conveniently situated 
near where the transaction took place — such as 
the interstices of window shutters, for bank^iotes ; 
or the broken corner of the same,— holes are dug 
in the mortar of walls for the express purpose, — 
very often upon the ledges where window-shut- 
ters are stovvcd away by day. Such are the 
contrivances of those wretclies who prowl the 
streets to take advantage of silly m.en. 

Never suffer a watchman to go out alon^, after 
he has heard the charge, in which the sceiie of 
action is of course pointed out : he would take 
care of the property himself ; and you might 
ascertain that he had m^et v/ith it, by his becoming 
extremely jolly in his answers, not to say impu- 
dent, — among other things, affecting to doubt 
" whether you ever had so much about you." 


Is the next degree of street depreciation, and 
is performed either with a stick, which is thrust 


between the legs, or by kicking up the heels of 
the party. A little more violent still, is the mode 
of KNOCKING DOAVN, witlithe fist, or abludgeon. 
This latter is seldom or eAer heard of in our streets, 
but both are practised at the out-skirts, lead- 
ing to the adjacent towns. So strong and active 
are the patrol at present, that robberies never 
occur at the hours of f^eir being on the watch. 

Boys will throw themselves down flat before 
persons they design to make prey of ; the ac- 
complice pressing forward from behind, precipi- 
tates you over the former, who, in rising up draws 
out your watch with the utmost facility. Or you 
may be eased of your money with as little dif- 
ficulty, while thus bent down, let the breeches 
be so ever tight. 

At the moment we were going to press with 
this sheet, {March 22, 1818,) three Urchins, 
attacked some ladies in Ilolborn, who wailed 
the drawing up of a Hampstead stage (which 
takes place near the iiouse of our publisher.) 
Although apparently little rogues, they brought 
their victims to the ground ; and, but for 
timely interposition, or, from immature skill, 
would have robbed the three ladies. The time, 
was past dusk. 


When women slip down in the street, or faint 
away, I would advise you to think twice before 
you lend your assistance ; for, although she may 
turn out that which she appears to be (a very re- 
spectable person), yet the thieves are so numer- 
ous, and constantly upon the alert, that it is a 
thousand to one, but you get dotie in some way or 
Other : it happens sometimes, that the lady her- 
self cfraw5 you, having been pushed down, or 
tripped up by one of her own fellows ; also, 
these sort of women know how to run plump 
against you, as if they had been killed by the 
collision, and down they go ! 

Should a lady under your own protection fall 
or faint, in the streets, (your wife for instance) 
take good care what persons (women or men) 
lend their assistance : it is a great chance but 
they will be upon the do, probably for the first 
time in their lives. 

We just now hear of a gentleman who has 
found occasion to come home alone, three times 
a week from Homerton, at very late hours, 
(sometimes an hour after the patrol went off 
duty) without any interruption whatever ; and 
this, although he always traversed the garden- 
lanes, and crossed over the fields, during a great 
part of the winter, without other arms than a stick, 



or any light, natural or artificial, for the greater 
number of times. The reader is requested not to 
follow the example, seeing that this gentleman, 
in addition to much personal courage, was withal 
reckless of life ; and that the well-known 
havidge called •' Haggerstone" lies but a short 
distance from the path, Of this place it is a suf- 
ficient character to tell, that the constables dare 
not enter it, to execute a warrant, in the usual 
way by two or three, but are compelled to aug- 
l^ient their numbers, in order to overcome a stout 
repulse; and yet the place cannot muster above 
forty men ; about a third of whom may deserve 
a middling good character. 

Notwithstanding this anecdote, which we know 
to be fact, it is not to be denied, that numerous 
offences of these latter descriptions take place 
all round London, which are never made public, 
for various reasons. Of these, the chiefest are 
the dislike j)eople have to be considered keepers 
of late hours ; add to tliis the trouble and anx- 
iety of prosecutions, tlie incipient proceedings 
upon which are by no means rendered palatable to 
the prosecutor's taste ; the desire in most people 
to keep out of public notice (though sought after 
by so many others), and we have accounted for 
the impunity a great number of offenders enjoy. 


When the victim i^flooredi imprecations arid 
oaths, and threats of vengeance, in case of resist- 
ance, immediately follow, accompanied by the 
most active search for the property, while they 
cover his mouth, kneel on his body, or beat him, 
as the case seems to them to require. The voice is 
generally in an under tone, or a kind of vociferat- 
ed whisper ; and many of these fellows are really 
so savage, that they will inflict further punish- 
ment if dissatisfied with the booty they may find. 
N. B. The reader, especially if he be a stranger 
to the ways of town, should not ramble about in 
lanes, or bye-ways, especially at dusk ; and the 
more so, if he is conscious his appearance is such 
as to promise an easy couc[uest, or a good booty. 
Therefore, people should never carry much irrO" 
perti/f in such situations, nor seem puzzled at 
the route they should take, nor show their distrust 
at the appearance of the rogues, but stare them 
in the face. 

Now as to these, and all personal robberies, 
out of deorSf I would advise a sort of knowing 
circumspection, on which I made some remarks 
before. Suppose, for a moment, that you were to 
bustle through the crowd in the streets, shoving 
about the people; thus, in order to avoid the 
pickpockets, assuming yourself to be one, to all 


external appearance? It is not probable yon 
would be attacked by them, upon the old and 
sure principle, that dog will not eat dog. So if 
you stare them well in the face (not sheepishly), 
eye them downwards, twig the shabbiest part of 
their dress, — and, if a row is begun, you join in 
the phrases used, as *' go it ;" " now, d — n his 
eyes ;" " what are yon at r" " now for it ;" " go 
it my jumbo !" or, whatever may be said upon 
the occasion, you would certainly increase the 
chances of getting clear. This is what 1 always 
repeat. " The chances only of getting clear of their 
clutches" are increased by following these pre- 
cautions ; for no one can be at a certainty ; as I 
have known a police officer (Handcock of " Hat- 
ton Garden," five years ago) to be stopped and 
robbed on the highway, when well-armed, and a 
magistrate who had his pocket picked at the 

As one test of the truth of what I have said^ 
you will invariably discover in the person whose 
pocket has been ])icked while walking singlt/, 
something that points him out as a proper object 
of attack: he is easily to be found out as an 
unknowing one ; he is either a silly looking chap, 
or an unwieldy one, or a new comer. In making 
this distinction of walking singly, I beg to claim 


the full foice of the word ; for, as to picking 
pockets in a crowd, it is quite a different sort of 
matter, — there, e\ery body goes to wreck. The 
leader of any discernment, then, will see the pro- 
priety of keeping out of crowds ; for in them 
nothing can help him, but strength to get away 
us soon as possible ; and that \x\\\ be scarcely 
in his power, if he is well wedged in by eight or 
ten desperadoes. 

Need a word be said of the necessity of keep- 
ing the handkerchief concealed, if you mean to 
preserve it ? An outside pocket, in which the 
handkerchief is visible, is sure to part with its 
contents at noon-day, even, though you should 
not walk half the length of the Strand. That 
circumstance would be most likely to bring its 
owner into further trouble ; as so careless a 
mode of placing the handkerchief marks him out 
for one of the unknowing ones, he would be fol- 
lowed and further pilfered, as certainly as that 
he has a nose. 

Walking, from the time of dusk to that of the 
patrols coming on duty, a little before or a little 
after, is more replete with danger as the times are 
worse. Men who only rob occasionally are there- 
by driven to desperation ; and they then sally 
forth to commit depredations on the per-ons of 


the unwary, which we, upon mature reflection, 
(after detection of the offenders) frequently 
consider to partake in a small degree of insanity. 
Their necessities blind their judgments on such 
occasions ; they mistake the object, and get into 
trouble, from which they are released only by u 
hempen habeas corpus. Such a mistake may be 
compared to the old story of " catching a tartar." 
Therefore, it is advisable, to keep a good look 
out, and especially avoid fellows who are running 
hard, or who follow you step by step for any 
length of way. Pull up all at once, regard the 
motions of the foe, and resolve upon a stout resist- 
ance, if you are likely to obtain help in a mi- 
nute's space, by calling out while you parry the 
blows, or the endeavour to get you down. If 
help is not at hand, so as to come up to your 
assistance in that time, you had better give it in 
with a good grace, and submit to your fate ; for 
they will but increase their brutality as you rise 
in your opposition — in case they are not inter- 
rupted, or likely to be. 

But mark this : provided you make good use 
of your lungs, and also make a decent stir before 
you get ^OMcAec? with hand or stick, V\\ pound 
them to holt in a jiffy ; for those sort of gentry 
have a maxim, ** never to give a chance away ;'* 


and as they are rank cowards, they, on such an 
occasions, put a question to themselves, and that 
is " Which is to be off the first ?" since he that 
remains to the last is likeliest to be taken. 

These statements are exemplified often : the 
robbery of a gentleman in Shepherd and Shep- 
herdess fields by the three bakers (1816), one of 
whom proposed to murder him, because he made 
so much noise, is a proof of one part of the above 
proposition ; for, although the place is much 
frequented, yet no one was nigh enough to alarm 
them from their purpose. Another part of the 
above statement was proved under our own ob- 
servation while yet we were writing it [January, 
1818.] A Mr. F — d was followed from the meet- 
ing house in Moorfields along London Wall by 
two of a gang who inhabit thereabout : they 
were short and stout ; Mr. F. being a little lame 
in one leg, gave them good reason to expect an 
easy conquest, as his appearance did a good 
booty. At the turning into Basinghall Street, 
(no one at that moment coming up it) one of the 
rogues ran up to Mr. F — d, pushed a leg between 
his, and brought him to the ground ; instantly 
putting his hand into his waistcoat pocket, he 
had but just time to extract a few shillings, when 
his accomplice became alarmed at the vocifera- 


tions of the gentleman (thoiigh be already knelt 
upon him) — and ran away. They conld not be 
overtaken, nor was the occurrence known beyond 
the circle of his own friends. It was an operation 
of about half a minute. 

Here it will be noted that the end of a street 
was chosen ; and hence it may be concluded that 
such would be always preferred, even though I 
did not know that tactic before hand. Indeed, 
it will scarcely be expected that I should adduce 
instances, or proofs, of any proposition I lay 
down, seeing that every word comes from actual 
experience, either personally, or fey immediate 
information from the real actors in the scenes I 
describe. Weil, then, I have to inform you, 
Reader, that the corner, or opposite the corner of 
a lane, or other avenue is always fixed upon ; 
and the moment is that in which they come to 
take a glance down it, to eee that it is clear of 
interruption. Sometnues an accomplice runs 
on before, to find the turning that will suit the 
purpose ; he then goes into it a yard or two, and 
turns about ju^^t in time to contribute his assi- 
stance to the plundering ; perhaps to receive 
into his arms, the victim who has been knocked 
towards him, and to complete thejfooring of the 
unfortunate person. 


Few such cases are brought before the magis- 
trates; but 1 repeat it, they happen oftener than 
would readily lie suppot^ed. On that account it 
is, 1 have dwelt upon particulars so long, in order 
that my readers may learn to avoid the dangers 
that thus surround them. To which let lue add, 
— let them look out sharp upon hearing a whist- 
ling or calling, even although the latter should be 
but a person's name (man or woman), or the 
former, the ingenious imitation of the canaiy 
bird's call. The fag-end of a song is a good 
signal sometimes ; though the words may not be 
appropriate, they convey a meaning previously 
agreed upon, and are as intelhgible to each other 
as Greek to a Gieek, or the sign and counter- 
sign to the guard that visits a military out-post. 

N. B. If two persons are in company, it is the 
safest method, at lat^ houis and dangerous places, 
to walk at some distance fr«-m each other— say 
from six to eight yards. ; it would require double 
numbers to attack both at once, besides the 
chance there would be of one of you running away 
and making a row, if both attacks did not take 
place simultaneously. Moreover, strangers to 
town in particular should be careful not (O let 
others know what money or valuables they carry 
about them; and the town-bred knowing-ones 


too, had better profit by the advice, and not sub- 
mit to be drawn of their secret by the offers of 
preposterous wagers, the usual method of coming 
at a knowledge of the contents of your pockets, 
I verily believe some street robberies proceed 
from this very cause, and are perpetrated by the 
friends, or companions of the sufferers them- 
selves, who probably commit no other offence 
during their lives. This last is, to be sure, a 
mere ^u;.)positioI), but I could not otherwise ac- 
count for three or four such robberies that have 
been circumstantially detailed to me ; but it is 
much more probable that a person thus excited 
to the commission of crime, would continue in 
the same course until the hour of detection ar- 

Although we again disclaim to treat of those 
offences and evils that have ceased, yet we should 
be guilty <-f a dereliction of duty were we to omit 
noticing the 


That upon very rare occasions, start up in the 
neighbourhood of this metropolis. Indeed, so 
selaom are they now heard of compared to what 


they were formerly, that the mention of this of- 
fence will appear mere Bagatelle to most of our 
readers after all the apologies we can offer. It 
was a mistaken notion of Mr. Barrington, that 
they receive intelligence from the ostlers and other 
attendants at inns, or introduced themselves into 
the company of travellers, of whom they wormed 
out the secret of their property, its amount, and 
the hour they meant to take the road, &c. 
"Whatever might have once been the case, I will 
venture to say no such thing has happened with- 
in forty years last past. 

No, no, they chance it, when they do go out. 
Else how came Joe Haines to attack the Bow 
Street officers, in the Green Lanes ? If he had 
intelligence at all of three Traps being in the post- 
chaise he made precious bad use of it. He was 
shot in the thigh, and afterwards taken and 
hanged in chains. That took place twenty-one 
years ago ; and since that time we have heard of 
about four highwaymen only ; the most promi- 
nent of which was the robbery of the Leeds mail 
by Huffey White; and another, nearer home, of a 
Young City Traveller who having lost his money 
at Newmarket races, stopped some people on 
Finchley Common, was pursued by the horse 


patrol [Highgate to Barnett] as far as Kentish- 
town, where he was taken. 

N. B. Persons who travel with a good deal of 
property, if they mean to preserve it, should pro- 
vide fire arms, at all events, taking care that they 
are in primest order for firing ; for it will be an 
easy matter to foresee, that a flash in the pan 
would occasion your certain death. No time 
remains for priming when a desperate fellow 
holds a pistol at your head. You should also 
make up your mind to do execution^ if put to 
the test : dalliance with edge tools in such cases 
would be fatal. To this mistaken notion Mr. 
Fryer sacrificed his life in White Conduit fields 
(1798) : having thrown out his tuck, and failing 
to use it, the foot-pad shot him dead ! This is a 
practical lesson for you, even though I did not 
know before hand what was likely to take place, 
in almost every possible extremity. 


Such as Gamblers, Ring-droppers and 
Money-droppers, Setters or Trappers, Crimps 
(for sea or land service,) Impostors, and Swindlers, 


come next under consideration in the order here 
set down ; being a numerous and pernicious 
annoyfince to all persons walking the streets, 
where they generally pick up your acquaintance, 
or at the public house, at which you may turn in, 
to take refreshment. 

The propensity to gambling pervades the entire 
population of the north of England ; and most 
Welchmen settle the commonest disputes that 
occur by wager, offering to lay more money upon 
one senseless dispute than perhaps ever belonged 
to their whole family at any one time. Those are 


In the city, where a person meaning to ridicule 
the practice, or to give an elucidation of it, ob- 
served, That laying of wagers were attempts to 
come at the money of others by undue, but ex- 
cusable, means. Upon which he entertained 
the following opinions, in the form of aphorisms : 

A wager well layed is already half won. 
Wagers are not layed to be lost : 
For if lost, they are not to be paid. 
So, if the decision goes against you, still 
The money must not be paid, but 



Payment must be talked off; ifthat will not do, 

. quarrelled off; if that won't do, 

. fought off. 

Such is a tolerably fair account of many men, 
some of respectable occupations in life, but who 
are nevertheless Sharpers in the fullest sense of 
the word, — who will even boast of the money 
they win at laying quirkish bets. The intention 
is, to take in the unwary, and is not a bit better 
than picking of pockets or purloining in a dwell- 
ing-house. AVhat appears the most galling part of 
the business to me is, that those men brag of their 
honesty, and look down upon their poorer, but 
more upright neighbour, with disdain. They 
are called upon juries to try their fellow (cri- 
minals ?) creatures, and many among us think 
them competent ^ad^es of what is a proper ver- 
dict in all cases but their own. 

For a great number of years that a friend of 
mine frequented the coffee-houses, so called, 
round Covent Garden, he witnessed a nightly and 
daily struggle to take money out of each others' 
pockets by dint of this deep laid trickery. At 
one of them, where the most doltish set m the 
world meet, a couple of Welchmen from the 
city, came in to see what could be done in their 
own way. One of them eggs on the other to 


begin some favourite subject; which happened 
to be the exact words of a verdict upon a trial at 
the Old Bailey that day. As is usual with a 
stupid set, and was expected by the speaker, one 
contradicts what was asserted, and the vest join 
in the contradiction. A wager is offered, and 
laid ; it is doubled and doubled, and laid with 
all who choose to say done / " Who is to decide, 
look you ?" asked the Welch wagering kiddy. 

** Who ! why any respectable man who heard 
it to be sure ;" answered a glum old fellow, who 
did not so much relish the wordy contest as the 
smell of the blue mark, (as they call a bowl of 
punch) which accompanied every wager for money* 

This mode of deciding was greeted as just by 
the other wagering kiddies, and agreed to by 
the Welch one, who told them he could " show 
them one of the jury presently. Who, now, 
look you ! do you think was the foreman, then, 
upon that trial ? Ah ! you shall find I knows as 
much as all of you about things. Now, I will 
bet you a blue mark and five pounds I find 
the foreman in this neighbourhood." — "This 
was too bad," they said ; and began to smell a rat. 

Our Welchman resumed, *' ah, it is too bad for 
you. What do you think of Mr. Jen kin James, 
Esquire, here :" 



His companion, the other Welchman had in- 
deed been that foreman ; and had given the ver- 
dict in a peculiar manner — whether with any de- 
sign upon the gentlemen of this room is too much 
to say. Some of them called it a do ; and a 
broad faced north countryman, wanted to prove 
metaphysically that the decision was against 
justice. But that attempt did not succeed. 
This was a robbery, and nothing else. 

The same friend being at a celebrated betting- 
honseafew nights before this sheet went to press, 
was witness to the most barefaced robbery of five 
pounds, — under the semblance of a wager, that 
ever was committed by foot-pad or highwayman ! 

At the famous trotting- ho use in — ^ Moorfields, 

one of the company, who was unusually opaque, 
from the use of grog, was set upon by another, 
more transparent than himself, to play at 
draughts ; not with himself, for he could not 
pla}', but with another man, who came in a little 
before hhn. It was to no purpose the groggy 
man cried off — pleaded his *' inability, — that he 
was too ripe to lay wagers," crying " Peter, I 
will lay with you to-morrow, when I know more 
of my man !" Oh, no ! this was the only thing 
that would not do ; and the gentleman was 
bothered into the deposit of his money to play 


with one who was a dead nail ! A plant ! Need 
the reader be told how the bull ran ? It was a 
close rub. 

We have given these as two gross instances. 
There are others more subtle ; and some others 
that are meant to be lost, — in order to draw you 
on*; and a few that are fair, but depend upon 
judgment. For instance, at the house in Middle 
row, Holborn, you shall find of a day half a 
dozen bets depending on the number of coaches 
which shall go up or go down the street in a given 
time ; sometimes they are laid en the gross 
amount of their whole numbers affixed on the 
doors. Others again wager on the prevalence of 
grey horses, or black ones, &c. Judgment may 
be brought in aid of the wagering kiddies, even 
in these foolish bets ; for about play-going time 
(six o'clock) more coaches go up than down, of 
course more amount in numbers will go that way, 
and more grey horses. 


S uch is the least blam cable species of gambling ! 
What must be those of blacker hue ? Notwith- 
standing the law, concerning low games at public 
houses, cards are used in about one-fourth of 


them throughout the year. Strolling into an 
Inn yard in VVhitechapel a few days ago, to pick 
up information for this book, I walked into the 
'' tap-room," to notice the manoeuvres upon the 
arrival of a coach, — then expected. Here pre- 
sently came in a horse-keeper, the ostler, a waiter, 
and a hanger-on, whom I knew to be a thief, 
from a cut in his face, which 1 noticed particular- 
ly when upon his trial once. They called for 
the cards, as a thing of course, and played at all- 
fours, for porter and small wagers. 

While 1 gave them room to imagine I was such 
a fool as to be touting the landlady, I had an 
eye to the game, in which there was no small 
cheating. In order to make friends with the 
hanger-on, I called out, in slang, when his ad- 
versary rubbed off a chalk too many. My eye ! 
how he did open ! *' Called him all but a gentle- 
man,'* in such rum style, and offered two to one 
upon the game as it now stood, which was accept- 
ed by a young countrynmn, who had been fool- 
ishly induced to hold their stakes from the 
beginning, which was the first step towards being 
taken in. By the way, in putting down again 
the chalk, which had been so improperly taken, 
our hanger-on extended his little finger in such 
a manner as to rub out one of his own chalks ; 


but all would not do, though the countryman 
" stood it like bricks and mortar," he won the 
odds upon that game, which was too palpably 
gone at the moment to be mistaken for a win. 
Need the reader be told that he lost in the sequel ? 
He lost four games " successfully'''' f successively^) 
*' all hand running." 1 myself tried on the noodle 
for a tizzy or two : he got the wrong side of the 
post there too ; and if I had chosen to be sweet 
upon him, I might have drawn him something 
handsome, for he was ready tip ; but 1 had better 
business in hand, as the others had shortly after, 

when the ■ stage coach drove into the 

yard, each man putting his hand (of cards) into 
his pocket, as he sallied forth. The hanger-on, 
however, first taking a survey through the 
windows before he went out, and as for me, I was 
stagging the whole party ; but can take upon 
myself to say nothing was then done ; for had 
there been, I should have split and turned 
honest, as is usual. 

" Do you know him in the new corderoy 
jacket ?" asked the tap-keeper of me ; " he with 
the large gilt buttons .'"' — ** I think I have seen him 
af/) /ay before," I answered, cautiously ; adding I 
«* wonder what post he fills here?" — "Whatpo5«/" 
echoed the tap-keeper ; <« do you not think that 


I am as great a fool as you ? I wonder why 
Mr. S — lets him hang about here for ; there 
is one or two other such sometimes." 

I did not reply, but continued to stag ; which 
he perceiving, asked whether I wanted any one ? 
and demanded pardon for making so bold, 
" did he not play with me lately a whole fore^ 
noon in Wood Street, at BAGATELLE ?" 

I gave him to understand that he might ; for 
I had been out of place, and picked up a few 
stray shillings in that way, which came in very 
sweet to me, notwithstanding my appearance. 

Here he put me upon an examination : " Could 
I draw the nine ? Make sure of any hole once 
out of twice ? Could I top forty once out of 
three goes ?" To all which I answered modest- 
ly in the affirmative ; upon which he chuckled 
a good deal ; proposed that I should act the 
novice to-morrow at the board, until something 
liandsome was betted, and that he and me would 
make a good thing of it. Finally, we parted, 
with a promise to meet again, and a repartee 
pun : he asked " which do you use, mace or 
cue .^" To which I answered that I myself was 
ynace, but I could come it the cue. Here the 
hoji mot consists in turning the tap-keeper's noun 
mace into the verb to mace, or cheat. 


In the room which he pointed out to me, I 
saw no Bagatelle board, so took the liberty to 
make enquiry after it. Some low fellows had it 
in the kitchen, to which I repaired ; but this 
room being immediately under the publican's 
eye, he never permits them to piay for more 
than a pint of porter, and makes no little parade 
of the regulation, — though I was convinced he 
himself would be the first to break through it. 
He afterwards removed the board into the par- 
lour, where some one or other continued to play 
from noon to midnight, as I afterwards found. 

Going towards Holborn I looked into three 
places where the same game was playing ; and 
took the liberty of looking in upon them again 
after business was over, and found they had all 
been as actively employed, pretty nigh, as that 
one in Wood Street. 

By actual reckoning I have found these boards 
to average the amount of liquor lost and won at 
them, at something less than three shillings per 
hour, when they are going; and it is no unusual 
thing to find them engaged three or four deep ; 
disputes often arising for the next turn or go. 
Now as nine of these boards are kept in Farring- 
don Ward alone, I calculate there are one hun- 
dred and eight in the city, and not less than four 


hundred and fifty within the Bills of Mortality ; 
making, for the whole of London, an average loss 
(for liquors only) of four hundred and five pounds 
a day, estimating each to be occupied only six 
hours. As all these have been taken at estimates 
too low for the factual state of things, we may 
correctly set the amountdown at the round sura of 
five hundred pounds a day, without saying a 
word of the drt/ money, which may, we can safely 
conjecture, be as much more ; or a total of one 
thousand pound daily for the gratification of a 
game at once new and fascinating. So much for 
La Bagatelle, at which novices do frequently 
win \Q.x^e numbers, and the best players are some- 
times foiled. For my part I never lost any thing 
at it ; and in my last play won every thing. 
But it is no less pernicious to the stranger, who 
is sure to be done, either by booty ov playing off. 
Therefore it is, I warn my readers to keep clear 
from invitations to, even " one roll up of the 
balls," for ever so small a wager ; for, as 1 am not 
now playing, but writing for the good of the 
uninformed, 1 should not perform my duty 
{I am told) if I did not come out with every pre- 
caution and advice in my power ; and I will add, 
if they are not cured by my exposition of the 


danger they run, I will play any one of them to- 
morrow, — — and beat him. 

Draughts are more generally in use : and they 
are in like manner followed with enthusiasm by 
the votaries of Mercury, that president of pur- 
loining, among the ancients. So intense are the 
players at this stupid game, that you may see 
a couple of decent men, who deserve a better 
occupation, bestowing the utmost extension of 
their faculties upon the upshot of a game that 
deserves, nor shall receive from me other than the 
bitterest execration, because it is the grave of 
thought, the extinguisher of every generous sense. 
Do men meet together to shut their minds up 
upon a move of timber ? and then, when the game 
is over, start up as if awaked out of a sleep to 
join in the jovialities of the evening ? After 
*' pushing about the wooden gods," as Johnny 
Bee used to call them, can they descend to con- 
verse with us mortals ? No ! 

But they are not less the means of taking 
money (or money in the shape of drink) out of 
your pockets. It is the common practice to let 
you in, if you intermeddle, or give your advice 
(for novices can see a move which the experienced 
player cannot). Verhum sat. Should you bet 
or play, you are done. 


Next to draughts, in a general way, is back- 
gammon^ a game of science indeed, as well as of 
luck. Although you cannot play, you may bet ; 
but if you do you are done. The moment the 
bets are made superior to the stakes at play, the 
game is sold. Sold ! Even in the most respecta- 
ble looking company, you are done out of your 
bet to a dead certainty. 

Those, with dominos, are the only games at 
play, in a general way, to which the untaught, 
unpractised visitor to our Metropolis is exposed. 
Other and more ardent trials await the man of 
money, and of warm, generous feelings, who 
thinks every one he meets as honest as himself. 
Faro, Rouge et Noir, E. 0. Vingt-une, Hazard, 
are the high-cut games of those who attack the 
vitals of an hereditary estate, or the peace of a 
family, long ennobled by acts of nobleness, 
which royalty cannot enhance by the fictitious 
addition of its ribbons, its smiles, or the laying on 
of a sword ; much less by writing on a piece of 
paper or parchment the word Baron, Viscount, 

or Earl ! What less was Mr. P before he 

was lord B — ! how was his state altered by being 

created Earl of M ? 

Lately, a general blow up hath taken place of 
nearly all the do's at the West end of the town, 


by means of a most ill-written poem, the stanzas 
of which have served as a kind of pegs upon which 
to hang the notes. The consequence has been, 
that new and yet unpractised methods are daily 
resorted to, of which we will apprise our readers 
by and by, whereby to come at the mone)^ of the 
unsuspecting stranger. We think the poet has 
no more rhyme than we have sense ; we know 
more than he does of the things he describes ; and 
some things of which he appears to know nothing. 
We allude to " the Greeks,''^ a poem. 

What signifies his telling the public about the 
two sevens (77) in Jermyn Street, or the same 
quaint description of the feverish do. (77) in Pall 
Mall ? the so-called subscription houses ! Or in- 
deed, any house or person, if he describes not the 
mode in which the novice in town is done out of 
his money ? Names and places have changed in 
nine months, wonderfully. To be sure, those 
remain ; they remain known ; whereas they were 
antecedently known only to a few (the chosen 
few) black legs. But a question arises in our 
minds — why did he suppress every mention of 
the three houses next the palace gate ? or the 
tree at the opposite corner, which, like a ivill-o*' 
the-wisp, is now up, now down, now in, now out? 
He is shrewdly suspected by many of interested- 


ness, whocould thuspass over those who, equally 
in Jiagrante delictu, were practising the same 
frauds as their neighbours. The poet did not 
mention the house in Bury Street, as he ought, 
nor the name of Oldtield, with proper discrimina- 
tion, to be understood as guarding the unpractis- 
ed stranger from entering his house. He could 
not be aware, indeed, of the subsequent Bow 
Street examination, at which even the watchman 
could come out with so much intelligence ; nor 
of the four new estabUshments in Pall Mall with 
the oval panes, where every thing is affected to 
be done fair and above board. 

Furthermore, of what use is the mention of a 
Smith, or a Hewetson ! They can change names 
as well as appearances and residence ; and the 
unpractised in the ways of town (and indeed, the 
most practised) shall be deceived by the glitter- 
ing external of houses and persons, which change 
with the seasons their Proteus form ! It is the 
practices, the arts, and delusions resorted to, 
which constitute the danger; and the more 
finesse that is used, the more is the chance in- 
creased of your i'alliug a victim to the snares laid 
out for your destruction. 

How, or in what way, it came to be known, 
remains yet to be developed, that a young gen- 


tleman from Oxford, in going home to spend the 
vacation, took up his residence at a house in the 
city, totally out of the verge of all gambling. 
Probably he was induced to adopt that house, 
as well from its vicinity to the mail-coach office, 
as its having been the usual residence of his late 
father in town, and consequently, that the most 
respectable mercantile gentlemen from the north 
put up at. Hither, however, he must have been 
traced ; for here, on the very day of his coming, 
a very dashing blade of the Jirst ivater, made his 
appearance, and took up his residence ; although 
he was rather oul7'e cela, yet his driving a stilish 
gig and commanding a groom, could be no objec- 
tion to give him the common courtesies of the — — 

and . At the first interview with the young 

gentleman, who had a previous dispositionybr 
play, the wily gambler (for so he turned out to 
be) wormed himself into his esteem by dint of 
face, a goodly person much beyond the common 
cut, and the knowledge of several esteemed gra- 
duates, from whom he had so lately parted at the 

" By G — , Sir, you shall dine with me," ex- 
claimed thefine fellow : " four o'clock, say you !" 
** Make it live. I have two humdrum acquaintance 
at that hour upon a Yes and No business, so you 
G 2 


shall dine with me. Between you and me the 
occasion deserves a damned good dinner ; how- 
ever, of that more anon." 

AVho would not concede an hour upon such an 
occasion ! A good dinner, an agreeable com- 
panion, and two dull friends to give audience to 
all you may utter, could not be unacceptable to 
a young gentleman full of spirit, who was almost 
alone, except when visited by the lawyers con- 
cerning the family property \vhich, by the deaths 
of his elder brother and father, had devolved up- 
on him to manage. 

Before they sit down to dinner, the reader must 
be told that the dashing blade of the stilish gig 
and groom was a black leg ! His two humdrum 
acquaintance, as he termed them, were likewise 
two sharpers from the same hot bed of insidious 
robbery — St. James's. And he was under the 
necessity of postponing the dinner hour, that he 
might have time to send for them, as probably 
they were then in bed ! And even when they 
came, another couple were sent for, the booty 
was expected to be so great ! 

The dinner over, our party of four resolved on 
a game at whist, and ordered a couple of packs 
of cards. But no: a person in the house knew 
one of the couj)le, wlio had come in, to have been 


dealer at a Rouge et Noir table, and now belong- 
ed to a Bank, which played all comers, at *' the 
two sevens.'* Cards were accordingly refused. 
On some geateel pretence, and the refusal would 
no doubt have thrown our spark into a fit of mad- 
ness, (if we may judge by his present behaviour) 
but from the consolation of a promise, that to- 
morrow cards would be provided. During this 
paroxysm he paid the bill for dinner and wine, 
with an air which bespoke utter indifference for 
the sum total. 

Good wine with good company, quickly digest 
a good dinner, and make the minutes roll merrily 
away. No time seemed to have elapsed since 
dinner, when that harbinger of ill-news, the 
waiter entered, with the appalling information 
that the horses were putting to ; but there was 
still a good quarter of an hour to spare. 

" A quarter of an hour !" exclaimed the 
Leg : " damnation ! What horses ?" 

" Mail, Sir 1" smirkingly replied waiter. 

" 1 have taken ray place, and must depart. 
You may recollect I told you yesterday I should 
go the moment my business was finished : the 
fortunate postponement of dinner, enabled me 
happily to complete thenegociation I was upon," 
Said Mr. B — d, the intended dupe ; and he did 


set off, notwithstanding the pressing intreaties of 
the gallant leg and his two companions. Their 
arguments wanted logic. " Cui hono .^" asked 
he, inwardly ; and when he found the answer to be 
** a game at Whist, to-morrow evening," and the 
consequent delay of two days in setting out, he 
came to his conclusion, which nothing could move. 

He went ; and the two " dull friends," went 
their way. But our leg expected two more of 
the club to look in, and did not choose to wait 
and hear their reproaches and vexatious remarks, 
which he knew would follow the disappointment 
and expences they underwent ; so whilst his 
groom was " putting to" he wrote the note, of 
which the following is a copy : — 

" I am off from here : 'tis all up, the bird [pi- 
geon /) is flown. The bio — y b — r B — d had 
taken his place in the mail, and would go. 

Your's, S." 

This he wafered up, and left with the waiter; 
but the wafer was wet, which, as heleta significant 
word drop that excited much talk, the waiter 
resolved to open. On jumping into his gig, he in- 
cautiously ejaculated to his groom, in tones of dis- 
content, " no c/o, by G — !" Such an expression 
*' let the cat out of the bag" with a vengeance ; 


it showed the cloven foot, and the attempt 
to fleece this young gentleman stood as much 
exposed as if the parties had been at confession. 

Will ye not learn, incautious youth ! from 
this real and veritable narration, that no pains 
or expence are spared to intrap you in the toils 
of the destroyer ? That men combine their purses 
and talents to defraud you of your patrimony ; 
no time, place, distance, or combination, being- 
an obstacle to the pursuit of their object. Did 
we not hear, with agony, the disclosures of an 
equally villanous attempt, at Brighton in 
Autumn, 1817, of one O'M — la, (a nine years 
resident there,) who dispatched his leg to Lon- 
don at a great expence to bring back a well- 
fledged pigeon to be plucked under his own 
eye? But the scheme failed throuah accident. 

Although we have given instances from high- 
life, yet the same practices come all the way, by 
gradations, down to the meanest man that ever 
had a pound to lose. A party — respectable let 
us suppose for a moment — meet at a house, re- 
spectable enough for your ideas of propriety, to 
play a fair game at cards. " No high betting !" 
No. But then, into such a party, however up- 
right may be the leading persons, some one or 
more black sheep is likely to show his front. ^ 


leg, as arrant a black leg, as ever entered tlia 
purlieus of St. James's, may be found in St. 
Paul's church yard ; and so far as leg-ism 
(cheating) goes, they have as many tricks at the 
one as at the other place. 

If a man is to be done, what signifies it to him, 
whether that be by a game at vulgar put, or the 
more elegant (because frenchilied) Rouge et 
Noir, et tous hs deux ? What, if he gambles his 
all, whether it amounts to hundreds, or thousands, 
or tens of thousands ? 

False dice, is a common cheat, of which the 
game of roley pole?/ is but an imitation ; but 
there never was a pair made tliat by use did not 
lose their true die or square, and thereby receive 
a new bias, known only to those who are in the 
habit of using them. 

Of horses and cocks, and the atliletic games, 
we have said nothing : in the first place they are 
not London games ; and secondly, we say, bet not 
at all ; upon the most trivial matter they are 
meant but to decoy and entrap the unwary, who, 
if a doubt arises, is sure to be out-voted in strange 

See mor»' under the head of Lottery-offices 
and pretended parsons, lawyers, and doctors. 


Are no other than gamblers, who contrive that 
method to begin play. It is an almost obsolete 
practice ; and its twin-cheat, ring-dropping, is 
not less disused : Men, now-a-days, manage things 
more subtly ; both kinds of these droppers, too, 
vary their mode of proceeding to infinity. " What 
is this ?" says the dropper ; " my wiggy ! if this is 
not a leather purse with money ! Ha ! ha ! ha ! 
Let's have a look at it." While he unfolds its 
contents, his companion comes up, and claims 
his title to a share. " Not you, indeed ! replies 
the finder, this gentleman was next me ; was not 
you. Sir ?" To which the countryman assenting, 
or, perhaps, insisting upon his priority, the finder 
declares himself no churl in the business, offers to 
divide it into three parts, and points out a public 
house at which they may share the contents, 
and drink over their good luck : talks as they 
go of his once sharing in a much larger sum, 
with a " stranger, who was honourable : — nothing- 
like honour !" The found money is counterfeit, 
or screens, or else Fleet notes. 

They drink, and fill their grog again ; and 
should a little rain come on, they improve on that 
circumstance, or any other ; such as the coming 


in of an old friend, whom the finder can barely 
recognise, but remenibers him by piecemeal. 
La Bagatelle, the draught board, or cards, con- 
stantly exhibit the means of staking the easily- 
acquired property so lately found, but which 
they cannot divide just now^br want of change. 
The countryman bets, and if he loses, is called 
upon to pay ; if he wins 'tis added to what is 
coming to him out of the purse. 

If, after an experiment or two, they discover 
he has little or no money, they run off, and leave 
him to answer for the reckoning. But with mo- 
ney, they stick to him until all is gone : if he 
turns a little restive they abuse him ; if he ob- 
jects to pay he must fight his man ; if he can do 
that tolerably well, they all fall on board him, 
and chase him forth of the house vvith execrations 
and coarse epithets. Such are among the latest 
occurrences of this sort, but they do not average 
once a year. 

Another playful mode is, for butcher's boys 
or stall-keepers' boys, to place a white metal 
button in the street, with a string fastened to the 
eye, both of which are pressed into the dirt. A 
stranger to the trick, might very naturally stoop 
to pick up what appears to be a shilling ; but no 
sooner has his fingers come in contact vvith the 


dirt (from which he endeavours to extract it) 
than the young urchin, who holds the string, 
draws it up suddenly, and the finder has nothing 
but dirty fingers for his pains. This is the least 
guilty trick we shall have to record. The 


Have more cunning to display in turning their 
wares into money ; the pretending to find a ring 
being the lowest and least profitable exercise of 
their ingenuity. 

It makes a part of the ring-droppers art to 
/?wc? things much more valuabla than those : the 
favourite articles are jewellery, such as broaches, 
earrings, necklaces and the like, made up in a 
paper parcel, sometimes in a small box, in which 
is stuck a bill of parcels with high flown descrip- 
tions and heavy charges. Proceeding with the 
dupe nearly as before, the sharper proposes, that 
as he is not in cash, he will willingly relinquish 
his share for a small proportion of the amount set 
down in the fictitious bill of parcels; and if you 
pay him one pound in ten of that amount, you 
are done. The diamonds are paste, the pearls are 
the eyes of fish, the gold is polished brass, gilt. 

This mode, however, and that of picking up a 
gold ring, close at the feet of a young servant 


girl, is very little used. " Is this your ring, 
young woman ? Let me see your linger ; if it is 
I shall find a mark there. Well ! I'll declare it's 
good gold ; don't you see the stamp ?" says the 
dropper ; and then he proceeds to inveigle her 
into a purchase. But the whole concern cannot 
amount to more than three or four shillings, and 
is really too shabby to detain the reader upon any 


Have much altered their plans of operations 
within these very few years ; for instance, the 
last mentioned have entirely disappeared since 
the year 1796 ; being put down by dint of 
law, and the little necessity there was for 
their services, when the government adopted the 
plan of recruiting the army out of the militia. 
That department of crimping which applied it- 
self to the land service, then, being abrogated 
and done away, we have only to notice that which 
is now practised with regard to seamen. The 
East India company contract with Crimps for a 
supply of sailors to navigate their ships out and 
home ; these are, for the most part Jews, who have 
made advances to the sailors of money (very 


small sums), clothes, victuals and lodgings; — 
every article being charged extravagantly high. 
The poor fellows are accordingly placed under 
a sort of espionage, if not close confinement, till 
the ship is ready to receive them ; and then they 
are conducted on board at Gravesend, by the 
Crimp and assistants, and a receipt taken forthera. 
In this process there is nothing very frightful : 
the men want berths, and the Crimp wants to be 
sure of his men : the grand do is in seamen re- 
ceiving any thing but money of the Crimp ; it is 
in watches, buckles, hats, and jackets that the 
robbery is committed. And in the victuals, — 
foh I the whole is barefaced unblushing rob- 
bery. With the same view of doing the unwary 
poor fellows, these Crimps get hold of their 
"Tickets" as soon as they come on shore, upon 
which tl ey make advances of watches, jewellery 
and such stuff, to about one twentieth of the 
amount. Not only is this the case in London, 
but at all the outports it is practised to a very 
great extent, in war-time particularly. Portsmouth 
was the seat of unheard-of villainies, and rapid 
fortunes, during the long war that has just been 
brouiiht to a close, 

Happy would it be for poor Jack, were this 
all : he is sometimes brought in indebted to the 



Crimp to a large nominal amount, by what is 
called a long-shove attorney, or more appro- 
priately, a black shark, and thrown into jail ! 1 1 
There he lits until his body is v/anted, and 
then the Iricarcerator negotiates with him for his 
liberty, to be permitted to enter on board again. 
Seamen should take care of their tickets and 
discharges, though they spend all their money ; 
but if he wants a bit of lark, why nothaveit with 
his relations and friends, in his own native 
place, to which a stage coach would carry him in 
a day or two, at th.e rate of ten knots an hour ? 
Advice that ought not to be thrown away at any 
time, much less during war. 

The same class in society, who thus entrap the 
incautious sailor, are not likely to be compunc- 
tunus ill taking in the lands-man. One of their 
chief moves at this game is to charge an innocent 
person witiia crime; firstbyinuendo, if in-doors 
at a pubHc house, and tlien direct, provided they 
have there a good assemblage of their fellows. 
These will swear to any thing that may be sug- 
gested by their spokesman ; and it is best to re- 
but their most insignificant imperii nencies at the 
outset, and to shew the proper indignalion con- 
iiistently with your character : If you once evince 
syjnptoms of fear, standing silently horrQV-struck, 


at the preposteroiisness of the iniijutation, they 
repeat the blow with redoubled Torce, and you are 
lost, at least your money ; for it is to obtain 
your money that the charge is made. 

Others still lower walk up to gentlemen in the 
streets, and accuse them of robbery, or of unna- 
tural crime , of ha\Hng debauched his wife or 
sister, or getting a girl with child — especially if 
they know your name. Some years ago a woman 
accu-^ed a noble lord of having rol>bed her of a 
fifty pound note, and he wa^ tried at the Old 
Bailey for it ; but she was immediately convicted 
of (..erjury, and transported. Much later, one 
Ann Siadford accused a person of murdering 
another man in her presen'^e ; hut the latter ap- 
pea-ing in court, staggered belief of her evidence : 
she too was convicted, iike the former, and about 
the time we are writing, may have reached her 
place of desiinntioit. Botany Bay. Both these 
women were posti^utes; but the latter was a 
country occurrence. 

A fell6w in the regiment of foot guards, 

whose nickname, Nancy Cooper, designates his 
character, (as it was considered by the givers), 
accused a genileraau in the Strand of a beastly 
offence, said to have been perpetrated in St. 
James's Park. Struck dumb at the heinousness 


•of the charge, the accused gentleman complied 
with the demand of giving what money he had 
about him ; but immediately alter was advised 
to prosecute, vvhich he did most effectually, for 
Nancy was hanged at the Old Bailey. 

Women of the town will walk up to one whom 
they think they can easily astonish, with their 
stays stutl'ed out with rags (perhaps), and remind- 
ing him of certain foolish familiarities, in which 
he has indulged, persuade him by all the tokens 
in her power, that he is the father of the child of 
which she is noiv pregnant. [An indisputable 
fact.] Here she enlarges her tale pitifully, with 
an allusion to her hclpl ss state and want of 
money ; next touching upon the hardness of 
parish officers, and that with a little assistance 
she shall be able to lie-in without applying to 
them, or swearing the child, which she ho, es 
may die ! and herself too. Asks him whether 
he would advise her to get relieved at the ad- 
vertised l}ing-in houses — such as (he " Blue 
Lamp" in Loudon House-yard ; — or, deeper still, 
she invites him to procure abortion medicines : 
should he consent, he is a ruined man. A noble 

lord (T d) was safely robbed in this way so 

lately as this winter, 1817. 

After using these topics, she asks directly for 


the money he niay iia^ e about him r Hectors and, not a little, and insists upoii his coming 
to see her ; or that otherwise she shall come and 
see him in a different sort of way. At what- 
ever stage of this boisterous meeting he bleeds 
the least sum of money prooable for the occasion, 
she is always ev^v after sticknig m his skirts : if 
the silly man takes fright, and is afraid of being 
discovered, she brings a companion, and they to- 
gether bully him out of his money at proper in- 
tervals, — perhaps, in a state bordering on distrac- 
tion, they obtain a promi^^e of marriage ! I leave 
the reader to contemplate the eftiects of such an 
union, on his purse, and peace of uiind. 

Those of which we have spoken, are accusations 
without any foundation, there are otner and 
blacker kinds of criminal charges, made against 
individuals, that have aome ground-work to build 
charges upon ; but which becomes, nevertheless, 
more atrocious as the perpetrators have twice 
double objects in view, viz. the commission of 
crime, the detection, the death of ihe cul'.rit, and 
payment for their villainy. Of these we shall 
hereafter speak, under their modern and most 
appropriate title of Blood hounds, which the 
reader is desired to see ! 

Every false accusution goes to the utter ex*» 


tinction of character, they include the fear of 
imprisonment, and nearly all aim at the life of 
the accused ; which there is too good reason to 
believe they sometimes take away, inasmuch as 
having once ventured to broach the subject there 
is no retreat left them. In all cases of false ac- 
cusation or entrapment, the accusers generally 
prove too much ; acting always with indecent 
eagerness they overshoot their mark. 


Seeing the success which has attended the de- 
predations of officers bearing his majesty's staff — 
as Vaughan, Brock, Pelham, Johnson and others, 
many an old thief a&isumcs the garb and autho- 
rity of such, in order the better to carry on their 
own, or their accomplices' robberies. This is 
usually done at night, by ordering off, perempto- 
rily, any casual passenger, or other })erson, who 
may be upon the watch, while the business is 
carrying on. At other times, small thieves get 
about among groups of people, particularly on 
Saturday night ; and one crying out *' be off," 
** go home," *' come, come, I'll have no more of 
this 1" the people show their spirit by reprobat- 
ing such conduct; when the accomplice pretends 


to take part and carney with them ; and hereupon 
in the way to the gin shop, while there, or at 
coming out, they purloin meat, halfpence, or if 
the incautious novice produces his purse, they 
prefer that, and its scanty contents. 

I one Saturday night saw a fellow at this game 
in Whitecross Street, and wishing to be in it, I 
got into a lot of about a dozen old women, every 
one of them more or less sniiffifi but they were 
purloined of pieces of meat by the shabby fellow, 
who declared himself an officer, " and talked 
about his authority ;" but he was below my 
" cut," and I blinked him, as there was no one 
there worth " doing.'' AVell pleased was I to see 
a little man step up to him, and after demanding 
what authority he meant, squared at him, — • 
took him a topper, and a breast-cut ; and after- 
wards, with the assistance oi' the patrol, he was 
conveyed to the watch house in Bunhill Row. 
Here he was yVi^^ecf of his eatables, and stood 
the gammon well as ever I saw ; but he got clear 
off, because has was known to two of the Wor- 
ship Street Traps, who were in attendance there; 
and they broiled the stolen mutton, while the 
gentleman v\ho h^A. Jibbed him was fined a half 
gallon for his interference. This mutton-thief 
turned out to be a Nose to one of these officers. 


and that was reason enough for getting off ea*y.He 
that very blessed night, in my own hearing, split 
upon Bill-Bill of Golden Lane ; av ho only escap- 
ed the sessions by reason of the Nose having called 
too late upon the officer ; vhich latter (his wife 
declared) got up, and had been gone out ever 
since five o'clock (in the afternoon), "because 
the house was too hot to hold him.'* 

Should a " novice in town," ramble into a 
public house, late in the evening, if it be not 
very respectable (and that does not matter, at all 
times) he may have one or two set upon hira, 
pretending to be officers, ordering him and his 
party home, in expectation of a treat, but if dis- 
covered, pretending to be upon the lark. Land- 
lords in general pull with them, because they are 
old customers, and do good to a house. 


In cases where a party accused stands search, 
articles are passed into possession of the searched, 
as suits the purpose of the searcher. When the 
lads were taken up on Tower Hill for smashing, 
they had no money about them bad or good until 
after a kind of second search, when the officer 
conveyed the base coin iuto their possession. 


Some years befb.e, Mr. B— of Newgate 

Street was found intoxicated by the watchman, 
but his watch could not be found, and tlie drunk- 
ard accused the guardian of the night of having 
stolen it, to his certain knowledge. Search was 
made, the watchman was dismantled, but no 
watch (ould be found upon either party until 
the house was cleared, and then it was discovered 
upon the right owner. Very few people believed 
it had been there all the time : but the highest 
part of the joke was to follow : the watchman, 
threatened un action for defamation, and received 
Jive pounds as a compromise for the damage his 
character sustained from the foulness of the 
charge ! 

When Jem Leary underwent his second exami- 
nation for the niurrier of Clifford, his clasp knife 
was proiuced; wliich was pretended to have been 
fouiid on the spot, but which he on his Jirst 
examination, stated to hare lent to the deceased 
at supper time. ISow the deed was not committed 
with a knife, but a hammer; the accu.sed 
claimed the knife the moment it was produced, 
said he had left it at home in the cup-board the 
same morning, — yet was this clumsy incident 
received m proof. Leary was hanged, and the 
officer discharged for something else. 



Some custom house officers searched G s 

and Co., in St. Paul's Church yard, for contrahand 
silk goods, in vain ; for which they would be 
liable to an action for damages, and were threaten- 
ed with it ; hwt fortunately one of them found 
an old Bandana handkerchief in a dirty-clothes 
bag, which he coiald swear to as foreign manu- 
facture. However, the assembled domestics and 
"warehousemen would all have sworn equally 
positive the handkerchief belonged to neither of 
them, or their master. 

N. B. When premises are entered for a search, 
the family should divide, and accompany each 
officer. The same as to personal search, a friend 
of the accused should'be present. 

As publicans are liable to the penalties for 
game, or contraband goods found on their pre- 
mises, though these should belong to other peo- 
ple, they should be careful for whom they take 
charge of goods, as they are sometimes left for the 
purpose of laying information. Tom Minter, 
the Stretton's Ccffee House, Newgate market, was 
so served - but got clear over it, in the Court of 
Exchequer! ! Stopp, of the Queen's head, St. 
John's Street, had his house searched for silk 


woods of which some were seized, and the fine, 


after every plea for moderation, he got over only 
by paying upwards of a hundred pounds. 


Informers, who find no real dealers in contra- 
band, are obliged to evince their activity to their 
employers by creating them. They wheedle 
themselves into the good graces of some unsus- 
pecting Noodle at the Alehouse; generally a 
drunkard who has good connections in life. Bim, 
they stuff up with a great idea of what each other 
is doing in the trade ; for there are always two or 
even six, seven, ov eight frequenting the same 
house. \\-A\m'r primed \\\m in this way, some 
goods are produced upon the sly, a lamentation 
is set up that such great beauties, and so cheap, 
cannot find a sale ; how happy many ladies would 
be only to look at such a shawl, or gentlemen 
such fine large Bandanas ; — then the Noodle's 
friends are described, as near as may be, and if he 
does not open his mouth, a direct offer is made 
to him, his lionesty commended, and if lie appear 
a little seedy they rig him out. For a space of 
time, be it more or less, he goes on and prospers 
for a while, thinks it a fine career to move in, 
and probably, by his example, induces some other 


poor devil, like himself, sometimes much more 
respectable than either, to embark in the same 
trade. Then conies the tragedy. The informers 
are in full possession of the names of all the pur- 
chasers, and the whole Hue of connections go to 
wreck. If they mean to go on again in the same 
career, they manage to get locked up at a 
Spunging house; and then inform against the 
Noodle they had first duped, who is brought to 
the same place, and the old Informer assumes 
the character of the '* wolf in sheep's clothing," 
worms him of the remaining names of his cus- 
tomers, and informations are issued and penalties 
levied against the whole. Both parties express 
their sorrow, that the predicament in which they 
were placed should have driven them to such an 
act, and they are then at liberty to pursue their 
avocations at the same place. The more timid 
remove to great distances, even so far as from the 
Commercial road turnpike to Cork Street, Pica- 
dilly, others only into the city, about Newgate 
market, to Aldersgate Street, and such neighbour- 

In the summer of 1816, Brown obtained a 
list of persons likely to buy silk goods in the 
counties of Buckingham, Northampton, and 
parts adjacent from a gentleman of high respecta- 

OTHERS. — brown's JOURNEY. 85 

bility, with whom he had become acquainted at 
a dining house in Newgate Street ; — ^ my Teddy 
accordingly undertakes the journey as regularly 
as ever tradesman went upon his business. Some 
months elapsed before he could lay his informa- 
tions ; for, getting into the King's Bench, his real 
creditors kept him there and in Horsemonger 
Lane, four or five months. However, slow and 
sure, is a good maxim. Some few at Stoney 
Stratford were taught a lesson they will not short- 
ly forget to the tune of 200/. or 300/. each. 

N. B. These instances show respectable persons 
how very careful they ought to be in taking re- 
commendations from their most valuable friends, 
to pursue a course so likely — more than likely — 
to turn out as these did. This is called a gen- 
teel do. 

British goods are the highest hoax upon the 
knowing ones. Shawls, scarfs, elastics, &c. are 
now mane equal to the French, in some instances 
superior; and will puzzle the learnjed to find out 
the difference. In December, 1817, the court of 
Exchequer was filled with witnesses, the best 
judges of silk goods in the kingdom, who gave 
their opinion, like men, that our manufactures 
beat Monsieur's hollow. The defendants, Hard- 
ing & Co. were therefore fined only in about a 


fortieth part of the penalties incurred, as a com- 
promise. This was a j^reat triumph for the British 
manufacturer; but none for those who lived by 
hawking about the like goods for foreign, and 
selling them as such. 

This latter go is more particularly in vogue 
with regard to Bandana handkerchiefs, which are 
now made to resemble the best Batavia. The 
house of P. Johnson & Co. make some heavier 
than P. T., even sixteen ounces and a quarter, 
though it must be allowed the company's goods 
[C. G.] are larger and superior, not being too 
high-dressed. However, the British is, and must 
be taken, as a very fair substitute for the " real 


Of smuggling as well as of smugglers a word 
or two may not be amiss. The quantity of fo- 
reign spirits so introduced to, and used in London, 
is very small : no one can hope to buy that which 
pretends to be such, of even tolerable quality ; so 
that the a[)jtarcnt saving of a very few shillings, 
per gallon is counterbalanced by the evil of swal- 
lowing a hot, liery, ill-cleansed, and consequently 
ill-flavoured article, made up as it is of spirit ob- 
tained from every variety of obnoxious materials. 


Teas and Coffee, the former particularly, 
must be bad. For they are such as come under 
one of these heads, — 1. Purloined from the war- 
houses. 2. Sweepings, 3. Imported from the 
continent or in American vessels. Now, 1. that 
which has been secreted about the persons of the 
workmen and porters, is likely to have acquired 
a flavour very different from what a delicate taste 
would expect from pure tea. 2. Sweepings 
from the holds of Indlamen, as well as the sur- 
plus sea- stock of officers and men, must lose their 
virtue by exposure, whatever the appearance may 
be, besides the contamination of every thing 
offensive. 3. Teas brought to Europe by fo- 
reigners, are not, at the beginning, so good as 
those of our East India Company ; who pick and 
choose and cull all the best good^ of every descrip- 
tion in India as well as here, leaving to private 
adventurers, private traders and foreigners the 
refuse. This must be more particularly the case 
with tea, because the company bviy nineteen 
twentieths of all that is brought to Canton ; the 
Dutch, the Suedes, French, and Americans, di- 
viding the remaining one-twentieth between them. 
Such is the sort of tea which, on account of the 
high duty, is smuggled (in very small quanti- 
ties) about London. 

I 2 


Coffee that is hawked about is not smuggled 
as is pretended : it i*- stolen, or inferior, or jobbed 
for against other goods. 

Candles and Soap are generally as good as 
the regular trade, sometimes belter, and make the 
single exception in that respect, and as to cheap- 
ness, of any smuggled articles, you may per- 
haps obtain prime moulds at one shilling per doz. 
less than dipt candles ; and about as much saving 
may be made upon soap. 


But that species of contraband which is carried 
on to the largest extent, and is most ruinous to 
those engaged in it, is the distillation of ardent 
spirits ; at one and the same time, the easiest ef- 
fected, and the hardest to work at of all the 
illicit manufactnres, as the article is difficult to 
dispose of whtn made, lor publicans hesitate 
before they embark in a trade, irom the trammels 
of which they can never be free. The makers 
and vendors frequently turn round upon their 
heel, and inform against the purchasers ; upon 
)yhom, if they are licensed victuallets, the penal- 
ties are treble, — and the exise commissioners sel- 
dom relax so much on this as tht y do upon other 


3Iost private distillers keep pigs ; for this rea- 
son, that they not only eat vip the residue of the 
materials, but are also a good cloak in brirging 
in and carrying out whatever may be necessary. 
The pigs go to Smithtield, fat, and store pig* are 
brought back in a httle cart. A large basket 
containing bladders goes forward and backward, 
and the business is now effected with more safety 
than ever, as I myself have witnessed. Being out 
upon a drinking spree with four or five others in 
the autumn of 1817, near Chelsea, I saw one of 
these carts stop at the door, the driver calling for 
9. pint of beer, as he descended with a small mar- 
ket basket in his hand. As he did not come into 
the room where we were, but w ent backwards into 
a dark kitchen-looking place, my curiosity was 
raised, so 1 watched him through the glass as I 
sat on the table : he stooped down, as if conceal- 
ing something, and went away in a short time 
without speaking to any one ; as the landlord 
never stirred out of our company, and the pot 
boy who served him with the beer had been or- 
dered out by his master to get in the pots. What 
was my surprise upon sneaking backwards, to 
find he had not drank half of his beer ! which 
I then recollected he did not pay for, so far as I 
could see. He had placed two bladders of spi- 


nts underneath the seat, one of which we boned 
in the most open way imaginable, before the 
landlord's face; while two of them made a bit of 
lark with the poor fellow, the others walked off 
at a round pace with the bladder of spirits, which 
proved double strong, but ill-flavoured. 

Drunken men and fools, are said to tell the 
truth ; so think I. Out of such have I wormed a 
pretty precious sight of information. Out of 
three or four facts, and shrewd guesses at some- 
thing more, I come to the conclusion, thatseveral 
of our topping Distillers began with (though 
they may not continue) private stills. Every 
one has heard of the detection of Mr. L-— — -, 
heretofore sheriff of London ; add to him two 
neighbour distillers who are now at the zenith of 
commercial prosperity, but who, nevertheless, 
formerly kept the private still going, which form- 
ed the nucleus of their respective fortunes. In 
the dark recesses of an illicit haunt, was laid the 
foundation of those splendid equipages, which 
dazzle the drivelling practitioner of a more 
honest calling ! Ascending from the north door 
of Saint Paul's N. N. E. i N. (as a sailor 
would direct an enquirer) at the rate of five mile* 
an hour, you shall espy one of ihem in ten 
minutes, over the starboard bow, marked R. near 


the forechains; and at fifteen minutes run, 'tis 
ten to one but you spy the other right a-head, 
while upon the larboard wake her gallant well- 
found tender lies at anchor in Carthusian Creek. 
Of all smugglers, or pretended smugglers, the 
most successful are those termed 


Many of them make a good living, one or two 
have become rich to ray certain knowledge, and 
almost all of them heretofore carried the pack 
upand down the country at fairs, great markets, 
and revels. They are invariably north-country- 
men. Jordaine was a Glasgow man, and made 
ten thousand pounds by the last mentioned pro- 
fession, but never buffed it in the streets of 
London, so far as I ever heard, saw, or believe. 

The term buffer is derived from the practice 
which once prevailed of carrying Bandanas, Sars- 
nets, French stockings, &c- next their shirts; so, 
as they were obliged to undress in order to come 
at the goods, or in other words to strip to the 
skin or buff, they obtained the name of buffers. 
AVhen j^Ir. Barrington did his book, they might, 
and probably did, carry their goods always about 
them, and show them in the streets ; now, however, 
they carry on trade in a more genteel manner. 


leaving a pack at some public house near where 
they mean to ply, to which they invite the un- 
wary passenger. 

The chief haunt for the buffers has been for 
some years at the back of Saint Olave's church 
near Union Hall ; for the packmen in London, 
though they are not numerous, yet in ray night 
travels, I have frequently seen five or six at a time 
turn in at the Falcon, Falcon Square. 

Now these chaps are not rogues, in the strict 
meaning of the word — they only sell to the best 
advantage. If they can persuade you an article 
is better than it actually is, you have nothing to 
complain of — every tradesman will do the same. 
The chief objection to them lies in their mode of 
operations, and in their overstrained recommenda- 
tion of their goods. As in every other species of 
cheatery, they look out for the unknowing, or 
silly, to whom, walking up with a demure phiz, 
and interesting air, they announce the pleasing 
intelligence that they have on sale (as may suit 
your appearance) " an excellent piece of cordu- 
roy, just sufficient for a breeches piece,'* — or- 
" some real India muslin, just brought home by 
a relation, enough for two gowns, at the price of 
one ;" or '' what would you think of some beau- 
tiful French silk stockings as cheap as cotton. 


and ten times as strong ? Sir, there are two or 
or three pieces of real India handkerchiefs, fine 
wear, that will last your life-time ; and always 
loolc well, never wear out : One is yellow — one 

is chocolate, — one is . What a pity ! 

Only just now I sold a [country] gentleman, — 
your size, — a beautiful fine waistcoat piece {de- 
scribing the one you wear)— full size, genteel, 
fast coloars,never wear out, at — whatd'yethink ?" 
(then he starts out with a sum just half its value) 
— " Down there. Sir ; yes. Sir, at that house with 
the grapes out, and chequers on, I'll show you 
such things as you never saw. Very well worth 
your notice, Sir ; no harm done, though you 
should not buy. I have a pint of porter there 
half drank, just step in and look at them.'* 
Then, part by persuasion, part by force, he hands 
along his customer to a dark back room, where 
probably he exhibits some really good articles, if 
he has a judge of them to deal with, but taking 
care to " ring the changes" upon wrapping 
them up, on the event of a purchase. The cer- 
tainty of a " r/o" is no longer problematical. , 

A master- piece of the game is, where his con- 
federate comes in, and begins a conversation v»ith 
his brother buffer. At the first, quite strangers 
to each other, tlie comer-in proposes to withdraw. 


tjirough bashfulness, but is ordered to stay by 
t^ie confederate, perhaps asked to partake of 
drink ; for dl which kindness he seems much 
obliged, and expresses his thanks clumsily. At 
length more emboldened, he introduces a word 
or two in favour of the goods, magnifies their 
value, recommends a purchase, and all at once 
recollects having bought some article or other 
he now Avears of such another man. The two 
knaves join in the description of the man, both 
agree in the particulars, and in his character for 
honesty, shake hands and drink together. 

Not less frequently, real tradesmen, living in 
the neighbourhood, who frequent the same house, 
gooil natuiedly (or with a worse motive) join in 
the recommendation of the article to be sold, and 
the delusion is then complete — the stranger is 
thus taken in with the aid of those who ought to 
be his protectors. Should you ultimately refuse 
to purchase, you must put up with a great deal 
of abuse, provocations to lay wagers, and to fight, 
or go through with the quarrel by contending 
against fearful odds. Whatever money you pro- 
duce never returns to your pockets again ; the 
landlord is sure to take [)art against you, " for the 
credit of his house ;" and all present will declare 
themselves ready to swear that you have perpe- 


frated such things as in fact yoa never once so 
much as thought of. Think yourself well off if 
you get away without a black eye ; but you must 

lay your account in a kick of the , or tweak 

by the nose. 

N. B, Never suffer yourself to be goaded to 
purchase any article whatever in the streets : 
they are invariably cheats who attempt it. The 
shortest way is to decline tlie least particle of 
conversation ; and if they place their fingers on 
your arm to stop your progress — peremptorily 
bid them "hands off," or if you have sufficient 
strength, knock them down. "Whoever places 
his hand upon your person in the street has no- 
thing good in view, be it man or woman. 


JOBBERS of nearly the same description a- 
bound, who do not stop people in the street, but 
ply at public houses, offering for sale tobacco, 
slioes, coals, candles, and sucli other heterogene- 
ous articles as they think likely to suit the com- 
pany then there, or the landlord ; which latter 
generally gets supplied with every article of house- 
keeping, including meat, poultry, salt, clothes, 
&c. from such " customers. " They pretend to 
Have commissions from respectable houses, whom 


they sometimes name, asserting they can pick 
out goods superior to what you yourself would 
have an opportunity of choosing. You will ge- 
nerally find them carrying a small parcel, their 
pockets stuffed with portable articles, and al- 
ways a tolerable shabby great coat. An air of 
deep interest, approaching the appearance of care, 
seems imprinted on their countenances ; arising 
from the constant solicitude they entertain of 
attracting the favour of every one they address, 
and the seriousness necessary to impress upon 
purchasers the goodness of their articles. Some- 
times when they have offered one or two kinds of 
goods, and are at a loss what you may be in want 
of, they pretend to have jobbed awaj^ others 
against them, in this manner: " only look at that 
sample, my good Sir ; turn it over; I never could 
sell it so low, but having given cotton goods, by 
which I got a good profit, in exchange, I can 
afford to let these go at 20 per cent, under 
cost price." Here a bill of the goods is produced 
(nick named a " salt water invoice,") or a me- 
morandum book, equally genuine, to prove his 
words. Names of respectable persons who have 
been his customers, are also adduced to raise your 
confidence ; and even the place of his own resi- 
dence is mentioned, where a few years ago the 


jobber lived in affluence. Such information is 
seldom untrue; for they are for the most part 
reduced tradesmen, (who have therefore a long 
string of acquaintance,) that live by this mode of 
carrying on trade : neither is the thing in itself 
disreputable, unless when made so by the in- 
troduction of arts and wiles, and misrepresenta- 
tions to obtain sale, and cheatery in the weight or 
measure when sold. It cannot be commendable, 
either for the jobbers to watch strangers into 
public houses, there to press upon them by plau- 
sible arguments, articles for which they have no 
immediate necessity ; therefore, let me advise the 
reader, with a 

N. B. Not to make purchases in public houses 
at all, even though he should once have known, 
under very different circumstances, the poor man 
who tenders his bargains for sale ; for the prac- 
tice of such an itinerant way of trade, with all 
its concomitants of persuasion and deception, 
effectuates an alteration in the character and 
principles, us well as the manner of life, of the 
best men in the world ; while the balance in 
point of numbers, is considerably in favour of the 
totally different sort among us. For instance, 
what ought we to think of a man, who, after 
sustaining for years an unimpeachable name, and 



filling a distinguished office in the city of Lon- 
don, should be found selling a pound of tea 
" plated ?" that is, at top and bottom a thin layer 
of fine hyson, and in the middle the rankest bohea, 
of Dutch importation ! 

Next to these, as a warning to avoidance, we 
must notice the 


Who are of Moorfields origin, where they press 
yon to buy household-goods and furniture; as 
they do clothes in Rosemary Lane, ?even Dials, 
Field Lane, and Houndsditch. Ladies dresses 
used to be barked pretty much in Cranbourn 
Alley and the neighbourhood oi' Leicester Square ; 
but it is pleasant to have to notice the abatement 
of the nuisance in a great measure. The shop- 
women content tbems-elvts, now-a-days, with 
merely asking strangers to look at their goods. 

I scarcely know what to recommend to my 
reader in such cases, for he would not like, per- 
haps, to follow my example: when these fellows 
were showing me from room to room, and drag- 
ging me upstairs and down, I used to manage 
to carry ofi' portable articles, as inK-bottles — 
plnted crewet-stands, small lea-caddies, and such 
like sort of little things as would easily squeeze 

How KNOWS?. 99 

up aud stow away. I may, however, repeat 
what I have said elsewhere, and that is " knock 
down the man, or indeed the woman, who dares 
to touch you with the hands :" should you wish 
to decline this, at least huit the intruder with 
«' hands oft, fellou 1" 


Another set of these barkers are employed 
at MOCK AUCTIOISS, and no other. «* Walk 
in! the auction is now on," or "just going to 
begin," they utter, in coarse stentorian strains. 
Such auctions are ejsily distinguished from the real 
one>, notwithstanding th.ey assume all the exter- 
nal marks of genuineness, even up to advertising 
in the newspapers, and being held in the house of 
a person lately gone away, or dead. They are 
called mock auctions, because no intention exists 
of selhng under certain prices, previously fixed 
upon ; which, although not high, is invariably too 
much for the quality of the goods — which are 
again of a very inferior cast. And, they are fur- 
ther known, by the anxiety evinced to show the 
goods to strangers the moment they enter ; by 
the overstrained panegyrics bestowed upon every 
thing put up ; by the exacerbated vocabulary of 
the auctioneer, who endeavours to jest, to bully, 


and to jaw you into a purchase, asking you in a 
most petulant way, what you offer for this, that, 
and the other ? All night auctions are of this 
sort : the seller having purchased the goods for 
the express purpose of auctioning them offy often 
pushing the price exorbitantly beyond the real 
value ; asseverating that the manufacturer never 
will be paid ; and increasing his earnestness the 
more he lies, in order to keep up the delusion. 

Sometimes, though the sale has not begun when 
you enter, they will immediately begin business, 
and perhaps one among" them will pretend to 
make a purchase ; not only so, he will eren pay 
down the money, so that this is likely to induce 
you to make a biduing. An equally deep man- 
CEuvre is, the offer to take back, or exchange, the 
articles under sale, for others in a day, a week, or 
ten days. This is moie pariicularly the case with 
watches : if you do so take them back, you pay 
through the nose for tiie exchange, and you find 
out too late you had better have taken Dr. John- 
son's advice, and dealt " at a stately shop, at 
once, where it would not be worth their while to 
take you in for a pound or two, at the expence of 
their reputation." 

On the other hand, it is not to be denied, that 
a great many bargiiins are met with at auctions 


of even the worst sort ; especially during the late 
few years of distressed trade, when manufacturers 
were in the habit of raising the wind, by sending 
goods to be sold for what they would fetch, — be 
that much or little. But here double destruction 
awaited them ; the auctioneer proposes to give 
his acceptances at once for the sum total ; or what 
is still worse, incites the deluded men to go on 
making more goods, to an immense amount ; but 
before the bills becoine du^, the acceptor 
decamps ; the Mart, (as such places are called) 
changes hands once or twice into the possession 
of his coadjutors, and after undergoing other 
transmogrifications, it is at length shut up. 

This was precisely as it happened at the 
famous Mart outside Temple Bar, kept by little 
Williams. He "did the natives," as he used 
to term it, two or three times, transferring his 
business to one or other of his colleagues. The 
last time was that in which he took in a poor hat- 
ter for a thousand silk hats, and another for twice 
the number of chip ones ; a Yorkshire man for a 
great quantity of second broad cloths ; another 
for kerseymeres, and pelisse cloths ; and others for 
pipes of beer and of wine. The first description 
of hats, were sold at three shiUings each less than 
cost price : the cloths in somewhat the same pro- 


portions ; and the wine was bartered away to one 
J y, in Holborn, for linens ; but was after- 
wards recovered by action at law, when all those 
facts came out. One M 1 made an abor- 
tive effort to continue the fun ^ as F r used to 

call it ; but failed for want of that gumption, or 
decidedly rogues' tricks, which is necessary in the 
performan( e of great actions. 

Upon this occasion, who can doubt, but that 
great bargains were to be met with ! But then 
the time it takes up, and the circumspection 
necessary to avoid being taken in, besides the 
chances that exist against the recurrence of the 
same ingenious devices (little Williams being 
dead) contribute to render an experiment unsafe. 


Either for business or for pleasure, the stranger 
will have to withstand a great number of subtle 
contrivances to come at his money, which we shall 
treat upon in the last place; meantinje, we will 
speak of those other more violent means, where 
the person is touched^ or his mind is intimidated^ 
to come at the same ends, viz. obtaining the pro- 
perty of the unwary stranger. 

This is the most p^2Yo5op//zca/ mode of arrange- 
ment ; and as every thing is done now-a-days 


bj- (lint of head-work, Ave can discover no good 
reason why a little learning should not be intro- 
duced into the " London Guide." Certainly a 
plan much preferable to that gallimaufry of in- 
coherencies, and antiquated rigmarole of precau- 
tionsagainst evils that no longer exist, — of obsolete 
terms, and disused methods, — entitled " Piing's 
Frauds of London," scarcely a line in a page of 
which is applicable to the present times, and 
present practices ; no more applicable to the 
present day, than the " Cheats of Scapin," or 
those of *' Gil Bias," are to the present manners 
of Spain. 

And yet the trash of that poor miserable vav' 
ment has been adopted, and repiinted into Mr. 
Barrington'sbook, " The LondonSpy ;" of which 
it comprises about one half, as near as I can reckon; 
another quarter of that London Spy is occupied 
either in telling us about horse-racing and other 
coMwfry cheats, or the details of mal-practices up- 
on the river Thames, which no longer exist. These 
latter are copied out of one of the books I have by 
me, written twenty years ago, before tho^e Docks 
were formed which entirely altered the practices 
upon, and commercial appearance of the river. A 
man might as weil talk of the beauties of Grecian 
building in the reign of king Harry, as of the 


the frauds committed by " scuffle-hunters, mud- 
larks, light horsemen and heavy horsemen, upon 
the trade of the river Thames" that do not exist.* 

The means of perpetrating these robberies are 
taken away, by the ships unloading in the docks, 
(three great basins, or more, enclosed with walls) 
into which it is impossible to penetrate improperly, 
and out of which no one goes without search, of 
whom there can be the viost distant doubt as to 
accuracy of conduct. Aided by the active ex- 
ertions of the marine-police, those extensive 
establishments have extinguished nearly all the 
old methods of robbing the ships and quays ; in 
lieu of which, new and more daring acts of piracy 
have been adopted. Of these we shall speak 
hereafter; these observations being only used 
objectively, weshallhere dismiss the subject forthe 
present, to resume the course we just now pointed 
out — the exposure of such villains as extract your 
money by putting you in fear of personal injury. 

If bufi'ers and mock auctioneers intimidate by 
their vehemeat manner of pressing tlieir wares 
upon you, no less do the KEEl^ERS of STALLS 

* Even the terms of ait have clian^ed : for instance the 
word cull or cully, a sti limpet's kept roan, then, now means 
& uian taUcu iu by her v\iles. 


impose upon the credulity of strangers, and treat 
them with incivilit)' and even rudeness, when these 
decline to purchase their trumpery. " You did 
not want to 6?/y," said one of these fellows to a 
well-dressed gentleman lately ; *' here have you 
pulled about my books, and asked the price of 
four or five, but don't know one that you want. 
No; you don't want to ^m?/," said he with a 
sneer, insinuating that he was likely to steal ! 

At various points, ready made CLOIHES 
SHOPS employ Barkers at the door, who pace 
up and down before the window, and almost for- 
•cibly hand you into the shop; where you are set 
upon by two or three, who will get a garment 
upon you whether you are v/illing or no, demand- 
ing twice its real value, and if you are a flat, 
you cannot get out of it with the gentle use of 
words. Abuse follows you, if you do not pur- 
chase ; you are robbed if you do. 

In what respect are such scum of tradesmen 
better than the well-detined villain, who being 
one of the 


runs off with the very garment you have bought. 

If you carry the bundle yourself, one of these 

will run against you, or shuffle you along from 


behind, and away j^ces j-our bundle or parcel. 
His companion, if he has one, interrupts the pur- 
suit, or joining it, impedes your progress, by 
treading- on your heels or kicking them up. 

1 have ^een one of these shabby dogs (who 
were alwaysbelow my cut) take ofFa lady's tippet 
in the street, at noon day ; nor has she discovered 
it for the space of two minutes, — a time fully 
sulFicient for his purpose, and enough to ensure 
his safety. 1 thought this trick the nearest to 
picking of pockets for neatness and cleverness, of 
any I ever saw. His plan was to loosen the tie 
round the neck, by getting hold of the end of thel^ 
ribbon, and reaching over her shoulders point 
out sometliing in the window at which she stood 
gaping, the bow was of course pulled through. 
This manoeuvre passed off very well ; for he held 
in his hand the remains of an orange, and his ac- 
complice occasioned an agitation among the 
crowd at the same moment. Lifting wp thelower 
corner of the tippet, another ribbon which fastened 
it round the waist, was cut, and then gently 
raiding it near the back of the neck, he disengaged 
it from all further obstacle — and bolted. It was 
a warm spring day, and I dare say she caught 
no cold. 


Others, still lower and more daring, knock off 
the hat, if it be a good one, and run away with 
it. The sufferer liaving received a pretty hard 
blow with hand or stick, is not in a condition 
immediately to follow ; and the pilferer, though 
a mean one, is safe enough from harm in a few 
seconds. Mr. Tufton was thus served in St. 
James's place (January, 15, 1818;) but the 
shabby per[;etrator ran to a passage of the {}ark 
which had then no outlet, and was taken accord- 

Some again wait about the park, at the King's 
Mews, or wherever errand boys or porters set 
down their loads — the former to play, the latter 
to drink ; and while they are in the midst of their 
fun, away goes the goods committed to their 
care. A few go about who axe false porters, or 
a kind of dog-sheep, who contrive to talk or trss 
up for gin, with the real ones, and meanwhile 
*' ring the changes'" by walking off with their 
loads. Upon opening the exchanged package, 
stone?, or bricks, or (if a cask) vapid water, is found 
to inhabit a tolerably good looking external. 
Not many years ago, a lot of young miscreants 
nsed to wait the coming out of day-scholars of 
an afternoon, at dusk ; and, affecting to be full 
of lark^ make off with their hats, books, or great 


coats. The prosecution of one of them, a Mulatto 
boy of twenty, for an offence of this precise nature, 
in Air Street, Piccadilly, put an end to the de- 
predations of that gang ; and the magistrate at 
Marlborough Street in thanking our informant 
for having secured the offender, assured the by- 
standers, that no affected gloss of a sportive sort, 
should guarantee to this nursery for thieves, im- 
punity for thtir early offences. They begin with 
small wares, imd in time deal at wholesale. 

Those who PROWL THE STREETS all day upon the 
look-out, make a dead stand-still whenever people 
are getting out of hackney, or stage coaches, to 
see what may turn up to their profit. If a box, or 
other package, is left a little astray, while the pas- 
senger is overjoyed at the meeting of his or her 
friend, advantage is taken of the circum^timce, 
and it becomes fair game. It may so happen, if it 
be a hackney coach, that the driver and the thief 
may be acquainted ; and then the former places 
joine of the luggage conveniently for carrying off, 
as thus : standing rather wide, he puts the article 
to be honed between his legs, and then reaching 
into the coach for more, he steps forward a little, 
so thatliis coat conceals from the view o{'\\\sfare 
both that i)art of the luggage and the thief; 
the latter stooping down behind the hind-wheel 


drags the article towards him, and bolts off. 
Should the fare have gone into the house, the 
same end is attained by plantiiig tliC article to be 
honed, a little on one side of the door, while ho- 
nest Jarvy enters with another part of it. This 
last is the cleverest way by half; but some people 
b)'- their vigilance prevent either the one or the 
other from taking place. At any rate, those who 
take hackney coaches with luggage (or indeed 
without) should never permit the driver to take up 
any one on the box, but peremptorily order such 
fellows off; they two being invariably dishonest 
palls : need it be added, that if he is thus driven 
from the box, he gets up behind, or runs along- 
side, the same hazard is incurred, of finding him 
lurking about the coach at the end of your 
ride ! 

The first-mentioned method of thieving, I have 
seen practised upon fruit in Covent Garden mar- 
ket, at the earliest dawn of morning, when 1 have 
been out upon my rambles. A coster-monger 
demands the price of cherries, and makes a fair 
bidding, which entitles him to look at the goods ; 
these, being packed in two-peck baskets, placed 
one upon another, he removed the first between 
his legs, while he reaches after another basket. 
His confederate handed off the first, but the 



seller prevented any more iVoin beiaa; disturbed, 
or I make nodoiibi, iVom the activity of the second 
man, more wonld have gone the same way. The 
long- fan-tail great coat of the first man, concealed 
the second from the view of the sufferer. 


Fellows who follow after town carts, waggons, 
stage carts, and such like, to pick up any porta- 
ble package that may remain unprotected for a 
moment; they are a needy sort of thieves, and 
partake a good deal of the character of the last- 
mentioned, to whom they assimilate in many 
respects. In my preregrinations forward and 
backv/ard, I have seen a couple of them dodge 
a waggon from Picudilly to the city, in order to 
dislodge a poorish-looking box from its tail. 
With a wisp of strav/ in his hand, to conceal a 
knife, one of them cut the cords that fastened the 
box to the tail (to the edge of wliich he shoved 
it) ; he unbuckled the leather v/hich crosses that 
hind part of the tilting; and the motion which 
the faulty pavement now and then gave to the 
vehicle, soon shook about the straw and the box 
vipon the ground. It would have been good 
prize, but for the interference of a civiliariy who 


made liimself busy with the thing, at the waggon- 
office in Friday Street. 

These fag-ends oC a low profession descend so 
very low, as to run off with a hare, that haug^5at 
tlie corner of the stage-delivery carts; cut oft' 
ropes at the ends of town-carts ; attend at the mar- 
kets to make prey of any packages of dead meat, 
flats of butter, or any other article that may 
come in their way, even to the very whips with 
which the butchers and green-grocers come to cm* 
markets. The curious part of our readers will be 
surprised to bear, that a poor fellow in Leadenhall 
market, and another at Newgate market, get a 
subsistanceby taking care of the whips only, whilst 
the owners are in the market ; for which he receives 
a precarious recompence. When meat or other 
articles are bargained for, and booked (as it is 
called), they must be taken away to the cart im- 
mediately, or left at the peril of the purchaser. 
Here again is a good scope for the dodgers : t'ne 
buyer having been v/atched into a distant j-nrt of 
the market, away runs the rogue in great liaste, 
calling out *' here, you, Hr. Sueh-a-one's two 
fore-quarters of beef,'* and away he goes with one 
of them. In the winter of 1816-17, a cart-load 
of meat was driven from Ivy-lane and found in 
Tvpe Street, JMoorfields, and thereabouts was dis- 
I. 2 


charged of its contents. The Long alley lads iV.d 
well that day ; and no doubt some part of the 
coateuts fetched monei/i as there is a butcher in 
the next ailey, who has seen foreign coiintj'ies. 

Some of them wear an apron, or carry one 
in their hands, rolled up ; sometimes it is a bag — 
the l^etter to cover smalltr articles. They turn 
tijeir hands to any thing, in which they are oc- 
casionally assisted by their women. Shopkeepers 
v.'lio e^ pose their goods for sale at the doors are 
always open to their robberies. The men prac- 
tise it in this way : having marked out an article 
to be boned, they place their bag upon it, and 
go on to look at something else ; which, whilst 
they are replacing, with one hand, occasions no 
small trouble, and the exertions necessary to 
accomplish this, keeps the other hand at work in 
filling the bag — with which he walks off. Books 
at stalls are fair game. 

Their women go to linen-draper's shops, where 
the goods hang up at the door, and one standing 
behind the other, draws under the arm of the 
front one, whatever she may have fixed her mind 
upon: if it does not slide off readily, she cuts 
as much ;is she can reach. For those sufferers 
there is very little commiseration : they expose 
their fascinating lure, and liave no legitimate 


cause of coqi plaint if they feel novv and then a 
little nibbling at it. But for those who steal 
books, we do not say that they are fascinated 
with learning — they would learn better else ; 
perhaps we shall be nearer the fact, when we at- 
tribute the fascination, mostly, to the money 
they may obtain for them at the Fences. 

These fellows will join in a bullock-hunt, or 
purloin sheep from the drove — hold the clothes 
at a novice-fight, and rua away with the 
mail's covering; they will snatch oif a woman's 
cloak — run off with a hat — lift up a sash for 
whatever may be within reach — or mizzle with 
umbrellas, that may be left to dry, or what not ! 
If there is a riot on account of provisions, this 
class of people, women as well as men, are the 
most clamorous, although they never buy any ; 
when the cheese and bacon dealers were visited 
so often, some twelve to sixteen years ago, these 
fellows stole the money in the shops at Clare 
market, Chiswell Street, and Cow-cross ; but it 
is worthy of remark, that when one of them was 
recognised, he had the address to say, he took 
money to keep the people quiet outside, wf.o 
threatened to pull the house down : no less so is 
it, that the suiferer put up with his loss sikntli/, 
for fear of that very man ! Is the criminal law of 
L 3 


this country well enforced, which should permit so 
flagrant a dereliction to pass ? Too much is left 
to individuals, to their kindness, pusillanimity or 


Their practices, as they are personal annoyances 
in the sti eets, come next under consideration ; 
the former are most dangerous by day, (so com- 
pletely is the avocation changed) the latter by 
night. Both assume the character of robbers, as 
suits their purpose. 

By day, the number of women of the town, at 
all points, equal those by night ; and they are 
more dangerous, because theirblandishments, and 
means of enticing the unwary, are set off most 
floridly. The novice to their manners is easily 
caught, as is frequently he who is versed in the 
ways of town ; for, to catch hold of the latter, 
they will dress in the style of a neat servant-maid, 
with perhaps a key of the front door, or a plate 
in their hand, as if just stepping out upon an 
errand. "What are you at, with that plate?" 
said I, to an old one, whom I knew, *' Catching 
of cm//a," answered she. This was one Miss Ellis, 
an Irish woman of very fine symmetry, who had 
been in keeping in all the varied scenes of life. 


from the top of the tree to the bottom. She was 
thus strolhng about, without bonnet, two miles 
from home ; she, upon whom the wind was not 
permitted to blow, while under the protection of 

Jack G , exposed in this manner to the 

dark air of an autumnal evening", reminds us of 
the fallen greatness of Buonaparte, and the 
abject state of Lord Chancellor Bacon's last years, 
who was denied credit for a pint of porter, 
as the ex-empcror was for his bincerest asseve- 

In general, the go is, to put the best toggery 
on that is to be had, adapted to the state of the 
weather. For this purpose, if the lady has not 
got clothes of her own, she can find them (on 
hire) at the upper class of bad-houses ; most of 
which are extremely well furnished in that parti- 
cular, deriving, from this source, no small part of 
their profits. If she is a ^ood judge , she will not 
overdress herself, but trust for customers to her 
eyes and limbs, both of which she manoeuvres, 
when she is down upon a cwZ/, who becomes her 
admirer. A good deal of ogling takes place on 
her part ; she pretends to modesty at first, per- 
haps, if her dress is corresponding thereto ; but, if 
she discovers her admirer knows a little too 
much to take that in, she changes her tone to 


an expected meeting, or an appointment with a 

gentleman of consequence (a married man) ; 

but the time of meeting being past she thinks 

of walking homewards. 

Such arc the arts used to inveigle men, by the 

force of their passions, into snares and trammels, 
which last, some of them, to the end of their lives ; 
but if not, occasion disquietude, breach of rest, 
and immediate distraction of the faculties, the 
forerunners of deranged finances, a shallow purse, 
and probably of ultimate want. 

The Courtezan, whom we have supposed in- 
veigling her inamorato to her lodgings, or a 
brothel, having thus broadly hinted her wish to 
return home, if he does not bite at that, proceeds 
with the remainder of her party — as the players 
call it. Probably she flatters his vanity, or self 
love, calls him " charming fellow !" Wishes he 
would call a coach for her, see her into it, and 
send her home ; for she is '* tired of waiting, 
disgusted with the men," and heaves a sigh, to 
think of their unfaithfulness. 

Let us next suppose the coach approaches, 
she presses him to accompany her home, but as 
he cannot spare time, he need not stop a moment, 
but only just see whereabout her dwelling is, 
and he may come another time. But should 


he hesitate to order up the coach, she calls him 
*' shabby fellow ;" at-ks him if he imagined she 
wanted him to pay ? and when she flounces into 
it, gives her address distinctly, that he may know 
where to find her, if his curiosity has been excited 
by what has passed. Many of these high ones, 
hand about cards of their addre^•s. 

N. B. At whatever stage of the negociation, 
his good resolutions give way to her arts, matters 
not ; from that moment he is saddled with ex- 
penses, and with inward reproaches, if not with 
disease; at leasjt, so it happens in thf majority of 
cases. Whoever hearkens to the voice of the 
Syren, is caught by her wiles. Tear yourselves 
away, then, from its sound, ye yet uni ontaminat- 
ed young men, 'ere it be too laie ; to hearken is 
to be lost; — to touch is to be undone. 

One general proposal is made to every Nev,- 
comer, by these hioher classes of Cypiians, which 
is nothing less, than that he will take her into /r^*^/?- 
ing. This is the rock upon which most per^Oi.s of 
warm dispositions split : if they once give ear to 
her representations of its advantages and cheap- 
ness, of her love and attachment, he is ruined It 
does not signify to her, that she is already lu keep- 
ing of one, two, or mo;e ; she wiil turn them up 
one after another, under the impression that she is 


clever in selecting-, or with a worse motive. The 
purse waxes empty, or its strings })ecome rigid 
with use. Pleasures like these, (ii" indeed they 
are so) }iail upon the palate and vitiate by tlieir 
very odour. No delicacj,'^, no sentiment, no soul, 
takes ])art in the carousal ; and the indigestion, 
the flatulencies of love, regurgitate upon the 
palate, even to nauseousuess. 

Our readers, who are novices, will possibly be 
surprised to hear, that many of those High-ilyers, 
though they keep, or job, a coach, and livery ser- 
vants, can swear a good round stave as any lish- 
fag at Billingsgate; some have more taste for that 
than for prayers : how unlike ladies of the same 
occupation in some foreign countries ! The 
charming Miss Shaw, for instance, can !?ay w orsc 
things about her eyes, &c. (sparkle they never 
so Ijrigiit), than ever was said about the Duke oi' 
M W s penchant for her. 

Many are the gradations from that highest 
degree of prostitution, down to the trulls that 
parade the streets by day ; and one or two more 
steps, still, include those who keep out all night. 
In the latter dark offenders the conduct is so 
glaring, their robberies so soon unveil themselves, 
and the men are so disgusted, that less pers^onal 
harm comes of them, than of those which begin 


by day ; they are less likely to undergo repeti- 
tion than these, and terminate in the night that 
gave them birth. Whereas the man wlio is open 
to woman's snares, while the mind is its own, is 
caught by the mind ; the very day-light adds a 
gusto to the illicitness of the amour, and its re- 
petition is the consequence. The thousand 
numerous ills which follow, can scarcely be 
ima;4ined ; for many a sad catastrophe never has 
come to light. 

Possibly, the jealousy of two persons out of 
four is excited ; for, women of the town can be 
jealous of the wife of a man with whom they 
cohabit ; or, her former paramour may feel the 
same rankling passion, and avenge it by murder : 
or, perhaps, he may perpetrate the same horrid 
deed, with the connivance of their common 
mistress, when her cupidity has been excited by 
the display of much property on the victim's 
person. Now and then, we hear of a gentleman 
being lost, unaccountably: a few years since we 
knew of a learned gentleman being burnt, with 
the house, in Chandos Street, for which accident 
no other reasonable motive could be assigned, 
than the last mentioned one, since he had a 
great deal of money about him. 

Not to quit our subject, we proceed to descant 


on the dangers to be apprehended from the loose 
women by day; and, by exposing their methods, 
put our readers upon their guard against such 
arts. Countrymen, in particular, and men of 
florid countenances, generally, are much sought 
after by old worn-out Harridans ; and, if they are 
low in life, sometimes get maintained until they 
become emaciated, and unfit for their lascivious 
purposes. The contaminated association, bring 
such men into dishonest habits, and some of them 
suffer for their crimes. Such men should, above 
all things, avoid being well treated by old whores ; 
who upon first view might be mistaken for re- 
spectable housekeepers' wives : they are much 
worse to deal with than younger women, for this, 
among other reasons, that they know more ro- 
guery, and are remorseless in spilling the man 
whom they have, perhaps, themselves seduced to 
the commission of some offence. 

The guilt of betraying her Fancy is not con- 
fined to the Harridan ; younger women of the 
town, are sometimes caught tripping in that way. 

In two years and a half, , (whose 

right name I never knew) lost three men iu that 
awkward manner, one of whom was for a capi- 
tal offence, so that she was called upon, to ac- 
count for how it could have happened ? Whether 


it was true that she alledged I know not, but 
every- body believed her, except the mother of 
the young man who was sentenced : the truth is, 
appearance and a good face do a great deal ; for 
I never did see a finer looking woman, from top 
to toe, than she is ; and when I saw her walking 
down Fetter Lane, last Christmas, I could not 
help comparing her to a ship under full sail. 
The excuse she had to offer w^as, that ** some of 
the things [stolen] were found in her lodgings ; 
and the officers knew, without her impeaching, 
iiow they came there." For the second man, 
•' that thei/ watched her to where he lay conceal- 
ed, and so found him out." No excuse was 
offered for the third man ; two out of three being 
considered tolerably fair. 

The reader ought to know, that her extrava- 
gance, and importunities for money, drove the 
first-mentioned man into his first and only 
offence ; thus giving to young men a severe and 
thrilling lesson, of what they are to expect when 
they attach themselves to women of the town, 
be their figure and features never so fascinating. 

Of a fine day, not less than twelve thousand 
women of the town, of all degrees, except the 
lowest, parade the streets in search of whom they 
may devour. Neatness and cleanliness mark 



them all : how much unlike the dirt of powder, 
and tlie frippery of tliirty years ago ! Indeed, 
health seems to prevail more and more among 
them : I s:iiy it, who am a pretty good judge of 
the matter. 

From Aldgate Pump to Saint James's Street, 
is one universal line of march for them, broken at 
intervals by short turns upon the heel ; and hav- 
ing, on the right and on the left, houses of resort ; 
brothels, bawdy-houses and bagnios, which it 
would be ridiculous to particularise. Another 
line extends along Newgate Street, into Lincoln's 
Inn-fielcJs, across Covent Garden, in various direc- 
tions, through Cranbourn Alley, &c.into Picadilly. 
In those celebrated Alleys is the favorite shopping 
promenade of the BON TON ; and here it is the 
greatest number of the high-flyers are to be met 
with, and the handsomest women ; though the 
major part of them take one turn into the city, 
generally, every day, and back again. The tnird 
day-promenade for the fair Cyprians, is in Oxford 
Street, and the streets and squares leading out of 
it. Descending from the parishes of St. .Ann's 
and Mary-le-bojie, and out of all the streets on 
that side, they penetrate to Picadilly by Bond 

In this round of sensual blandishment the youth 


oi the metropolis have got toinhale their existence, 
and with it the pestileutial infection of example. 
But they are inured to the sight from their ear- 
liest years, and some few of them go miraculous- 
ly through the ordeul ; the far greater part, how- 
ever, plunge into thetiery furnace of debauchery, 
and get seared in immoral ideas, and immoral 
practices. These, repetition cannot harm, for the 
seat of fine, feelings is become callous. But, it is 
the countryman or new comer, whom we would 
exhort to guard against the pestilence, and the 
snares, that every where await him, both without 
and withiii. Internally, he feels the want of con- 
fidence in himself; externally he exhibits the 
gait and habiliments of the novice, and is eyed 
by the crafty, the wicked, and designing. He 
must, then, at going forth, steel his mind against 
the allurements that will be every where thrown 
in his way ; his eyes must be dim to the rain- 
bow colours that scarcely cover, but do not 
conceal, the alabaster forms that move beneath ; 
he must resolve to eschew the evil that will be of- 
fered toh'is ear ; and to resist, with all his force, 
the tact of pollution, that would endeavour to 
excite the mere animal passions. 

A practice used to prevail, for women to sit at 
a window which had a good aspect, from which 
M 2 


they would throw out their aliuremeuts to the 
men as they passed, — beckoning- them in. This 
has, however, been put down by order of the 
mao-istrates, on which account we should not have 
noticed it — our plan being rather to notice the 
evils that he, than those that have been — but as 
it may revive, and is very likely still to exist in u, 
small degree, we think it part of our duty to 
warm incautious persons how they accept such 
invitations. Women so stationed are, for the most 
part, diseased, or under a course of medicine, 
which disables them from sallying forth; — the 
consequences of entering would be obvious and 
painful ; and he who suffered death by such a 
step, deserves burying at a cross road, with the 
old English law inscription " Felo-de-se," 
placed over him. 

It would be endless, and almost useless, bnt not 
at all entertaining, to enumerate all the means 
made use of to claim your attention by day :— . 
by night, the address is more lascivious, but 
meant to be equally fascinating, being addressed 
to your grosser animal faculties and functions. 

To call a coach for a lady, whoever or what- 
soever she may be, is no great piece of service to 
perform by one of our sex for^ the other ; neither 
to hand her over the gutter, or across a street ; 


but when, in performing such an act of civility-, you 
receive a squeeze of the hand, a thrust of the 
elbow, a leer, or a card of address, — learn that no 
good is intended : it is nothing more or less, than 
an attack on your purse; sinijily that, and not 
addressed to your person, this being a matter 
perfectly inHifterent to her (whatever you your- 
self may think of its beauty.) — Uer flashman, in 
her estimation, is ten times handsomer, certainly- 
more acceptable. Where is the difference, then, 
of an attack on your purse, v.hether it be made 
by a man or a woman ? through the medium 
of your passions, or of another's address and 
cunning ? 

We will, for a moment, suppose an unthinking 
young man led away by his passions, to give ear 
to one of those Syrens, and that she is of a decent 
stamp, — say a second rater, or a third, such as 
would not disgust at the first \-iew : — Wliat has 
he to expect upon accompanying her along ? 
Her demand, at first but small, probably a few 
shillings, is enhanced by inuendo ; as, how hand- 
somely a gentleman (something like yourself) 
behaved last week, in a present of a few pounds. 
If you do not take this hint, she bothers you in 
the house of ill-fame, to which you may go ; ma- 
nages that you shall be charged extravagantly 
M 3 

126 bully's abuse— night 

for accommodation, and what you may drink,— 
which, if you refuse to pay for, you get kicked 
and abused by the bully, who is always in attend- 
ance, and understands the use of his fists. The 
same fellow contrives, too, to give you a good 
character into the street, especially if you have 
taken your cups, so that you may be way-laid, 
hustled^ or tripped up, or knocked down, and 

You are under a mistake if you supjiosc be- 
having handsome to (he girl, will protect you 
from this last act of violence; not always so, 
but on the contrary, the display of yQur property, 
or the exercise of your benevolence, proves you to 
be a fiat, and they take advantage accordingly^ of 
your imbecility. The best way is, to plead a 
vacuity of purse, combined with the (pretend- 
ed) wish to contribute hereafter more to her ease 
and comfort, by a larger douceur, but that pre- 
sent circumstances prevent it. A large pro- 
mise goes farther than a small performance, with 
such people. 

Attime>5, the importunities for relief from the 
night-walkers, descend so low as a few pence, for 
immediate sustenance, or rise to a glass of wine. 
In case of the first, they take what you give; 
and while laughing at yovir credulity, make far- 


ther proffer of their persons, and increase their 
demands with insinuated threats : in the second 
case, you no sooner enter the tavern or gin-shop, 
than several more of their companions surronnd 
yon, and the glass circulates to all round, in- 
cluding Flashraen, (thieves) with whom you are 
thus obliged to associate, after having given way 
to the first impulse. If you should escape with 
pocl<ets and person safe, after being thus encom- 
j)assed by sin and wickedness, it would be strange 
To me. That you would be put to much ex- 
})ence, is certain: that you would be robbed in 
some way or other, little doubt exists in my 
mind : that the effects of wine would render you 
fitter for the workings of hisciviousness, is no 
longer problematical. The fault lies, then, in 
not resisting the first allurements : tear yourself 
away, ere it be too late ; lest, taking advantage of 
heeitation, the seducer, versed in the arts of per- 
suasion and lewdness, leads you an easy prey to 
the shrine of her iniquities, and immolates you 
upon the altar of her cold-hearted caresses. 

But there are others, or rather some among 
all those classes, who, not content with exposing 
their blandishments, and ijivino^ invitations to the 
brutish consummation of their wishes, lay violent 
hands upon men passing along. Here again. 


hesitation is ruin ; irresolution will destroy you; 
want of decision is want of sense, and will soon 
prove the want of pence. KNOCK THEM 
DOWN, after having given them one notice to 
that effect ; especially if it be late at night, or in 
a dark place adapted to robber}^ Should you 
not adopt this advice instantly, your ideas of 
prudence will soon bend before your carnal 
appetites ; and a couple of Cyprians will empty 
your pockets of their contents with the faci- 
lity of a conjuror's wand. This advice may seem 
harsh to those who whine and cry out about 
*' striking a weak woman." (Not so weak nei- 
ther.) But I know what I am saying : when a 
woman ceases to behave like a woman, and as- 
sumes the character of the worst description of 
men, they are no longer women, but brutes. 
Shall a wonjan be allowed to exercise muscular 
powers, in aid of her lustful appetites, — to say no- 
thing of meditated robbery- — and then plead the 
weakness of her sex ? The proposition is ridicu- 
lous, if not monstrous : a foot-pad robbery, then, 
is to be committed with impunity^ because the 

perpetrator wears petticoats, and . . ! 

"Hands oft!" — "Stand clear, there!"— 
" Get out, or I'll tip you a floorer !" These 
are the expressions, which, as they are under- 


standable, or at least intelligible, to the meanest 
capacities among them, are the likeliest to have 
the desired effect ; since thej^ convey with them 
an air of authority, and that knoivingness upon 
\shich I have so often insisted, when speaking 
of other species of street-robberies. 

Is my reader Hable to get inebriated far from 
his home ? Let him take coach upon such occa- 
sions ; or, if he call not a coach, let him make up 
his mind to evade those harpies who ply at the 
corners of avenues, streets, lanes, under the 
piazzas, at shop doors, and such like. From these 
dregs of an abject profession, what can be ex- 
pected but filth, vermin, disease, and death ? 
Their breath is contamination, their touch is 
infection, their views,in course, plunder, rapine — 
and even murder follows. By such as these, men 
have been decoyed away and totally lost, body 
and goods ; unless indeed the former might be 
recognised at an anatomist's, or the latter at the 
pawnbroker's. "What other can be expected 
of the fag-end of the worst finished part of vitia- 
ted society, upon whom the pattern of their 
maker is scarcely distinguishable ? and whose 
minds are enribued v.ith so sn all a portion of his 
grace, that they appear a distinct race of beings 


from these among whom they constantly dwell, 
and Lii)on whom uii^y liouvly make prey. 

Your charity is implored for the most abject 
looking beings that crawl the earth; and will 
vou not bestow it? 1 answer NO 1 not at mid- 
night ; not when some latent purpose is in view ; 
when the scowl that meets your eye, huddles 
togetiier all the derelictions consequent upon 
an early initiation in vice and crime. Is there 
no means of reclamation ? asks the abstract 
moralist : YES ! it has been attempted upon a 
large and benevolent scale. Individuals, too, 
have exerted their individual beneficence; but 
the incorrigible wretches, with their adventitious 
cleanness, seek anew for fresh debaucheries, and 
spread wider and wider the impurities insepara- 
ble from an early initiation in *' (he ivay of life, 
as it is called, quaintly enough. Notwithstand- 
ing this new surface, with which chance has 
covered tlieir native garb of pollution, the origi- 
nal gvoun^i work — the centrical alloy, still remains : 
no less vitiation of principle, nor less of pestilence 
exists, because, wiih a flimsy covering of new 
cotton, and the emblazoned whoredom of painted 
cheeks, the poison dazzles the eye, while the un- 
derstanding is thrown into the shade. Look closer, 


penetrate, and draw forth enongh of ground- 
work character, of which to make an analysis, 
and you shall find the chief ingredients are the 
same orioinal base amalgama of iniquity as is first 
above depicted. Men who are led astray by 
snch low-bred vestals, are not likely to possess 
much discernment at the time, if they ever did 
exceed their next-door dolt ; but they must be 
far gone in Uquor indeed, and in a such a state of 
confirmed stupidity as to be scarcely worthy of 
being saved from the shipwreck, if they cannot 
distinguish, when they get into the dirty purlieus 
of St. Giles's, those of Orchard-street, Westmin- 
ster, of Golden lane, or the Borough Clink ! If 
they cannot see light from darkness, or the 
difference between a cut-throat corner and a 
dining room, they deserve neither commiseration 
or help, in their misfortunes. 

Low neighbourhoods like those which v/e have 
named, have night-houses, where assemble the 
worst and most unprincipled part of one sex, 
waiting for prey to be brought in by the other. 
Woe to the man who ventures among them ! 
The unfledged youth, no more than the veteran 
upon town, is their peculiar game; all is fish that 
comes to net ; old and youn<:;-, gentle and simple, 
when they once enter these pestiferous abodes, are 


beset by balf a score Urchins, who have been sitting 
up, waiting' for the return of the sisters (perhaps) of 
one or more of them. By a troop of both sexes 
thus composed, and probably the unnatural pa- 
rents themselves, is the dishonest pursuit kept up, 
until their game has been robbed of every shilling 
he has, together with his watch and miscellaneous 
property, including his coat, hat, shoes, or other 
clothes. The unfortunate, silly man, is then to 
be mystified (to borrow a French word) respect- 
ing the place he has visited ; for which purpose 
they throw themselves in his way, in order to 
misdirect him ; and this they contrive to do, 
even although he should be too drunk, or too 
sulky, too enquire, by means of a conversation 
among themselves. The reflections and researches 
of the next morning, teach him how weak an ani- 
mal is man ! How nearly resembling the brute 
beast (when reason hiis departed at the approach 
of ebriety), is that man, who dures to kill his 
fellow animal, and ask for impunity, because it is 
devoid of that reason, wliich he himself has bar- 
tered away for a few moments' gratification. 

We must not deny that very many of those 
girls have pretty faces, and appear as if just 
escaped the trammels of a parent's care, or the 
drudgery of a nranufactory, and thus it is tiiey 


arouse the lecherous gusto of their paramours ; 
but, if mankind had nothing to resist, in con- 
trouling their passions, there would be no virtue 
in forbearing to gratify them. 

Begging for liquor, is very common with every 
class of out-door strumpets; frequently accom- 
panied by the lewdest gesticulations, and offers 
of their persons, in return; but, under circum- 
stances the most favourable to a safe gratification 
of the small pecuniary request, you would find 
yourself egregiously deceived as to the amount 
of the treat. They swallow incredible quantities 
of liquid poison, under its various denominations ; 
and, if it be evening, demand something to eat, 
something to be given to her " sister,'' (in iniqui- 
ty) "a drop for that poor woman, and a glass 
for this poor man, who was v^ry kind to her when 

the b officers wanted to take her away." 

Such fellow being all the while her own Pal, 
Flashman, or Fancy. And suppose the invitation 
ends here ? What have you done ? I will tell, 
though you dare not give it a thought : You 
have encouraged the worst sort of mendicity ; 
You have associated with thieves and whores, 
contributing your share towards fitting them 
for further attacks; and you have run the 
risque of losing yourself in that vortex, which has 


swallowed up so many fine fellows before you. 
While thus treating them in a gin-shop, they 
will make free with your pocket handkerchief, 
or other more valuable article ; sometimes when 
you do not order freely, one will pretend to 
sqnare at you, and hit you in the pit of the sto- 
mach ; and before you recover your wind, they 
get away safely — then you have leisure to search 
your pockets for what may be wanting. 

Whatever is most subtle, v/hatever is most en- 
gaging in vice, has throughout been our chiefest, 
constant, wish to warn the novice against falling 
iuto. The coarser appeals to the mere man, his 
animal feelings and temperament, by the de<>:raded 
set who ply the streets, have been already describ- 
ed ; we come now to such as every man is likely 
to find at his lodgings, his place of business, or 
his resort for pleasure. As the last mentioned 
includes the theatre, as well as the tavern or pub- 
lic house, to which latter, at the season of 
agitated politics, almost every man of intelligence 
resorts occasionally, — vve shall speak of it the 

He who goes to the Theatres without some 
(large) })ortion of buoyancy of heart, is ill-fitted 
for the intelh ctual treat, or the moral lessons, 
furniL-hed at them ; but we will not suppose, 


that he would go at all who was fitter for the 
house of mourning;, so t'ne uiO:>t we coi.cede i>, 
th:it he may go with lii-liessness, out of pohtenes^ 
to his companioiis. In either case he would 
have to encounter that hot-bed of vice, the lobby ^ 
in a state very unfit to undergo its scorchino- 
ordeal. If he cannot withstciud the temptation, 
let me conjure him toac^ with as much prudence 
as the case will admit; above ail things, let him 
not retire and come back again. Let him not 
treat two women at the same time, lest their ri- 
vality should interest his mind : I pay nothing 
about the heart in these lucubrations, that is 
quite out of the question ; although I have 
known a young man of character actually to 
marry a girl of the town, who had paced all the 
pavement in the line of march^ and knew almost 
every stone in its whole extv'^nt. V/hat a pretty 
brewing of mischief was in this false stes.? If 
my reader must dally in llie lobby, let hi;n not 
disclose his name, nor make a rew appointment 
with intention to keep it ; let him turn a deaf 
ear to one half that is said, and disbelieve the 
other. Better than either w ould it be, to examine 
the beauties that inhabit theie, with the same apa- 
thy that a florist examines his tulips, or the na-^ 


turalist expands the wings of a butterfly, and 
transfixes its body against its last receptacle in 
his museum. 

Observing these precautions, my reader will 
merely be done out of a little money, and proba- 
bly a small portion of that laughing hygeia with 
which he entered London. He will then have 
conquered the most alluring species of destruc- 
tion that environs our rougher sex ; since here are 
collected all the most accomplished and fascina- 
ting outsides of the female form about town, 
together with the well-practised tongue, and every 
other art and blandishmerjt to stir up and carry 
away captive the senses of youth. 

At the tavern, there sits in the bar the fascinat- 
ing lure of a pretty bar-maid, or a handsome 
landlady ; sometimes both. Men in their cupSy 
pass a word or two with these, and feel gratified ; 
this ripens into longer conversations, an invitation 
to walk into that sanctum sanctorum of all grog- 
gishness follows, where the women as well as the 
men take their drops of eye-water. With one or 
the other (or both) of these, you are inveigled 
into an intimacy, an ogling, and then you are 
treated with 


" Fnvonis sroict, s\vcrt, anil i)ieci<n!sV' 


ds Burns rightly tells of Tam O'Shanter. Next 
they go to the play-house, and you accompany 
ihem ; you squire them to Vauxhall, and your 
business is done. Vou are either attached like an 
heirloom to the house, become a sot, and make 
room in half a year for a similar dupe ; or else, 

what is worse, you marry a , who has " tried 

it on'' with a dozen or two, and insists upon her 
virtue being uncontaminated, because she has 
never been but in company of gentlemen of 
the house. 

Every body must recollect the pother and run- 
nings after there were in 1816, of a handsome 
landlady, in Bacon Street, Spitalfields ; and yet 
she vv'as not handsome either ; her chief Jbrte lay 
in looking agreeable, and pleasing the foolish 
part of our sex, without saying much, giving 
each one to understand that he was the first in 
her esteem. At least this was visible to us when 
she lived in Cow-cross ; and, it is to be presumed, 
she carried the same guileful (though guiltless) 
arts to her new house. We never went to the 
latter, being already down to the hoax. 

Servant maids in general (we might say uni- 
versally) are upon the look-out for sweethearts, 
and husbands ; and indeed, this we may say of 
the whole sex ; but here we have nothing to do with 
N 3 


lionourable or equal matches — it is of the fraudu- 
lent, or ill-begotten only, of which we shall here 

Public-house attendants are most to be guard- 
ed against ; for they find you mellowed with 
the fumes of liquor, to which they administer, by 
themost scrupulous attention to your least wishes; 
and having dressed for that purpose, throw out 
their lures and fascinations, when the heart is 
le ist capable of resistance. Most of them will 
condescend to grant the last faroury if you are 
base enough to talk about marriage ; mention 
the word love, and you may take almost any 
personal liberties ; for the mistress and master 
enjoin her, as she values iier situation, not to be 
too skittish with good customers, nor too forward 
with any ; thus judfrmaticalli/ dealing out that 
which will ^^ do good to the house.^^ 

These, as well as servant maidens in general, 
(especially at lodging-houses) lix upon inexpe- 
rienced young men, of whom the conquest seems 
easy. Old harridans who are up to tlie waps of 
life, after a dozen disappointments, dress out 
lamb fashion, wenr false curls, and paint a little, 
nicely ; subtract eight or ten years from their 
?ige (nominally,) and thus entrap into marriage 
boys of twenty, one or two, whose earnings or 


little property, they hope to enjoy, together with 
his person ; — as to his enjoying Aer, 'tis quite 
out of the question. C'est toute mitre chose. 
This entrapping of young men, to marrj^ elderlv 
women, I consider to be as much a robbery (of 
personal happiness and daily income) as any act 
of violence committed upon the highway. 

N. B. Beware then, young men, of these 
latter description of women ! Eschew the tavern 
and public-house, if you cannot keep your eyes 
off the enticers there, go to bed and reflect ; if 
you are pestered with the knowing old tabbies at 
home, and think what will be the feelings of 
your soul seven years hence to lie down with the 
ancient fair one, who now invites your caresses; 
for women of every degree make love, (I am 
ashamed to say) to the men in London. This ac- 
counts why, but is no apology for, the strange dis- 
closures which daily take place here, of such out- 
of-the-way things as strangers would not think 
possible to happen, are coming to light; — of 
which murder is not the least frequent, incon- 
tinence the never failins: attendant. 


May be divided into two species ; the bold 
beggar and tiie sneaking beggar. The latter is 
self dthaed ; being uo othei- than those who 
abjectly implore your pity, and receive rebukes 
with meekne&s. Sodie among them, however, 
attempt larceny, and if discovered turn rusty 
upon your hands : oT these we will speak here- 

The bold beggar is he who, with vociferations 
of his iiard case, iiitiaiidates the chicken-liearted, 
the women and children ; men of stronger mould 
also are souietimes choused out of their pence, 
and so far as the intimidation goes (with either 
the one or the other) , it is no less a robbery than 
if a pistol was placed at your head, or a dagger 
at your throat. Half a dozen sailor-dressed 
nifu, for instance, will accost you in Blackfriars 
road, or Goswell Street, or Toftenham court 
road, or any other outlet, with " God bless your 
honour ! My noble Ca{)tain, drop a halfpenny 
in the hat for poor Jack ; not a copper in the 
locker." On tht giouiid is his hat, into which if 
you fail to drop a few pence, like Gil Bias in his 
hislf ry, yon perceive what is most probably to be 
your fute, with this ditference, that that Adven- 


turer saw the end of a musket, you stand in awe 
of a stumped arm. Those fellows sing frightfully, 
and caper round you, ex-limbed, with as much 
nimbleness as monkeys, showing by their leaps 
the agility of squirrels or kangaroos, and leaving 
you in doubt to which order they belong. I am 
firmly of opinion they are robbers, and nothing 
else ; as much so as he, who upon the highway, 
tells you in good plain English ** stop ! and 
deliver.'* What signifies the word or the gesti- 
culations, so that the effect be the same on mind, 
heart, and purse ? 

Another set of the bold-ones, are those who 
knock at your doors, asking for charity, in lond 
or veiy deep tones, in such a manner as to impress 
you with the idea of prefernng an immediate 
donation of a few pence, to the fears of a protract- 
ed interview, with such a character as that before 
you. Should you refuse his request, he scarcely 
deigns to make room for you to shut the door ; 
retiring the last leg most unwillingly, in the 
strong hope that you may touch it, so as to ena- 
ble him to cry out, or to swear damnahly, or per- 
haps to knock again at the door, to demand sa- 
tisfaction ! Such as the>e, as well as the sailor- 
looking men, first described, when you pass on 
without relieving them, follow you a few yards 


with imprecations on your proud aspect, cai; 
you tiie most opprobrious name al the tetminytiou 
of each seuteuce, and wish they had you in the 
bilboes, on half allowance of water, &c. &c. 

N. B. Tpon first catching the eye of one of 
these, put on a scowl, by drawing the eyebrows 
close together ; one shake of the head and " No, 
not a stiver," finishes tlie business. If he press 
the matter farther, and you vociferate *' no" and 
*' never ;" or some word inapplicable, in a strict 
sense, to the terms of the demand, it will bother 
his iL'hack, and compel him to silence, from your 
*' superior knowledge of stufl^aiid nonsense," For 
example, he asks '* your charity for God's sake," 
at each repetition you answer *' can't, indeed !'* 
'* Never 1" " No ; I didn't." ** Not in all my 
life !" " Could not think of it !" This mode is 
not taunting the dihtrtsses of others : it is nothing 
more or le^s, than quctririg llie attempt of a hold 
beggar to impose U|-on your softness. The really 
distres. ed, claim a difi'erent sort of treatment, from 
this sort of queering, as it is called 

The aneuking beggar^ wlio is not really and 
unintentionully in thstress, annoys you in the 
streets, more ^particularly when you are m com- 
pany of fe»nales, whose feelings he endeavours to 
interest in his favour. liis whine will follow 


you half a iiiile, though his person is in the rear : 
latterly, however, the liiaihler of foot, supplied 
with religioits books, forces his wares upon your 
•attention, which is first anesled on the olfactory 
nerve, and claiming-, by a greasy eflSuvia, your 
subscription towards a replenishment of the 
nauseous olfertory. Under other circumstances, 
they will creep into the premises of persons who 
carelessly leave open their fore doors, to pilfer 
whatever they can lay hands on. Gentlemens' 
kitchens, back doors, shops and warehouses they 
enter softly with imploring air : if discovered, 
they beg ; if not, they steal. A gentleman, of 
some spirit in the citi/, relates, thiit he was in the 
habit <!ai!y of reading the newspaper seated in 
the dado of his shop, while his j.eople were get- 
ting ready to attend to their duty : he almost 
invariably found some of tliis species of rogues 
enter in the way we have described. He adds, 
that one day transacting business with a silk 
mercer, his neighbour, his face being towards the 
door, though at the whole distance of the ware- 
house, he saw enter one of those religious tract 
venders, who imagining he was unseen, shut 
up his book-shop and set off with a piece of silk : 
when overtaken and examined, he maintained 
stoutly that he vvas employed to carry it; but 


upon being asked by whom ? be lifted up his eyes 
towards the ceilings and made no further defence. 
He left his cause to " God and liis countr}'," and 
got off, as is too often done, by the connivance of 
his prosecutor, who made a wilful mistake in the 

All descriptions of beggars sally out of town 
in the fine summer weather, some few take to 
harvesting, others to pilfering, and all beg their 
way back to town at the end of the season, in 
order to resume their old avocations and their 
former habits. Out of town, some will ask for 
alms at the front door while another gets over the 
walls behind. 

One remark is worthy a place here ; and that 
i.>, the great number of beggars who are actually 
receiving parish relief, at the moment they are 
asking for eleemosynary help. Not the insuf- 
ficient help which consists of a few shillings per 
week, to pay the rent of a wretched room, in 
wliich to rest their emaciated limbs, but meat, 
drink, washing, lodging, and clothes, sufficient 
for their subsistence. Impatience under restraint, 
however, and the love of a wandering life, propel 
many of them to seek, beyond the walls of a work- 
house, the precarious alms of the generous and 
ti;e undiscriminating part of the community. A 


few of them obtain leate to go out, in order, as is 
said, to visit their friends ; but the greater number 
are sent out by the master of the houte (who is 
the contractor for their keep) that he may save 
tlieir rations for tiie day ! This is most glar- 
ing, when he gives them threepence in money, 
never more than fourpence each, with an assur- 
ance that the walk will do them good. They are 
expected to bring back broken victuals, or ^OTwe- 
tliing else, for a regale at night. 

Great annoyance is experienced, by many re- 
spectable people being applied to by beggars 
with letters and petitions, which they buy ready- 
drawn up, and are couched in the most abject 
terms ; stating their sufferitigs, and exaggerating 
their privations. They see your name upon the 
door, and address a letter to you ; if they find 
out any of your acquaintance, they hesitate not to 
name them, or put down their signatures to a 
dirty list of subscriptions. They are mostly im- 
postors, and deep ones, who adopt this scheme : 
they must be resisted tooth and nail ; for if you 
relieve one you will have a shoal of his or her 
cronies upon the same errand, at due intervals. 
Pathetic addresses in the newspapers,— unless 
well-authenticated, are to be suspected. Some 


fellows, habited as clergyman, liave been con- 
victed of impositions with begging petitions, 


Abound most in dark winter nights ; on which 
account we seldom hear of the commission of 
burglary in the line of streets where the newly in- 
vented gas-lights are put up. This shows the 
advantage of burning a light in your house all 
night ; the thieves drawing a conclusion from 
that circumstance (unless they have previous con- 
fidential communication) tiiat part of the family- 
are stirring. 

Like all other forceful robbers, they are prone 
to commit murder, if resisted ; and it must be 
in every one's recollection who reads, the '* police 
examinations,*' or attend to the disclosures of 
the "Old Bailey Sessions" that they never go 
unarmed, — mostly with fire arms. 

We will not pretend to enumerate all the vari- 
ous methods of entering the premises of others, 
which the law ever presumes to be " with intent 
to steal." Was it possible this could be done, 
and a complete exposition made of every man- 
oeuvre that has been tried up to the present day, 
new, and yet unheard of, inventions would im- 
mediately be resorted to. Even on the day wc 


are writing, the last sad sentence of the law has 

been carried into execution upon Attel, a 

Shoreditch lad, who liad found out a new method 
of safely and securely robbing the next-door pre^ 
mises to his own for many months, and to a 
ruinous amount for the poor sufferer. He re- 
moved a stair, both the front and tread of it, 
in such a manner, as that each piece should slide 
out of, and into its groove at pleasure. Through 
this aperture he let himself down, and conveyed 
away the goods when the family were asleep. His 
detection was attended with the singular atrocity 
of attempting uselessly to murder the victims of 
his robberies ; but in which he w^as foiled by the 
more humane interposition of his accomplice !— 
thus, no longer leaving to the mere invention of 
fable, " The story of the two hired villains, the 
one insatiate of blood, the other relenting, &c.'* 
The children in the Wood, a tale and play. 

There will be no reason, however, why we should 
not describe those means which have been hither- 
to in use for house-breaking ; that so, the yet 
tininformed reader may know how to guard 
aoainst a repetition of the same, nor have to re- 
proach himself for neglecting to take all the pos- 
sible precautions for securing his bouse and pre- 
mises against ordinary thieves. 


Next to keeping^ a light burning all night, is 
the affixing a large bell tor an alarum on the out- 
side of the house, having a communication with 
two or more chambers. This is moie especially 
essential out of town {or crowned town). Your 
next neighbours should be made acquainted with 
its sound, possibly by tolling it at some given 
liour ; the same of watchmen, and patrols, horse 
as well as foot ; and the attention to the tones of 
the latter would be wonderfully improved, if 
the thing were to be done over a jug of ale. Hav- 
ing, in the next place, furnished yourself with a 
good 5?ro?i^ house-dog, and some well kept hre 
arms, you may go to sleep in peace, provided 
you know how to use the latter, and to manage 
the former. But servants are very likely to spoil 
both the one and the other : the dog by too much 
attention, the fire arms by too little. What is 
the object of firing off a charge of jDOwder every 
night at dusk ? As soon as the dog is put upon 
his station, this might be done, and it would be 
a signal to him to be upon the ^'quiviveF^* 
** Now mind, Csesar ! Look out," say you, and 

Whilst we are upon precautions, we may as 
well make a fini.,h of the general ones. 

Should you at any time lose your dog, mysteri' 


eusli/f by death or subtraction, do not go to 
bed that night or the next : something bad is 
intended ; possibly nothing less than breaking 
the dwelling-house; more probably the robbing 
your out-houses, hen roosts, gardens, orchards, 
sheep folds, &c. &c. 

If a servant leaves you in dudgeon, for some 
are very vindictive, or if one soon afterwards falls 
into bad habits, never suffer them to come near 
the premises, but look well to the dog, the state 
of the bell-pulls, and the condition of the fire 
arms. Should any thing be amiss with either of 
them, through negligence, suspect that some 
evil is designed ; should they appear to be de- 
ranged by design, be assured a robbery is in com- 

The symptoms we have described, indicate that 
vour domestics (one or the other of them) are 
leagued with thieves to break into the house. 
Then bum lights diligently, look to the dog, and 
the bell-pulls yourself; and fire off your pistols, 
shotted, at some boarded place which will retain 
the shot to next day. This sort of league, or in- 
formation from within, is called, " a put up rob- 
bery ;" although 'tis no less so, where mechanics 
or others have come at the secrets of " good booty, 
and the means of the easiest entiy," to which 
o 3 


they put up (as it is called) their palls, or else 
speak of those circumstances ill-advisedly. How- 
ever the facts may come out, the effects are tiie 
same, whether negligently or criminally mention- 
ed abroad, that much property is in a house that 
is ill-pvotecfed. The robbery at the Countess of 
Morton's, a few years ago, was owing to a very 
slight cause, like this we have alluded to. 

False keys, and pick-locks, with the addition of 
a crow bar, are favourite modes of getting into 
houses, or of making their way through them 
when the entry is once made. Servant girls, 
who go of errands at evening, with tlieir keys, 
should be careful not to leave such a dangerous 
instrument of robbery behind them ; nor to suf- 
fer such to be purloined from off tl'.e counter of 
a shop, nor to be snatched from their fingers, in 
a sort of sport. She wlio should be thus served 
would find it but ill sport to be tied to the bed 
post half the night, whilst her former play fellows 
are handing off all the portable articles they can 
find. When one rogue had got possession of the 
key, another would watch her home ; and the 
thief obstacle being thus removed from the 
front-door, the prey would be easy and certain, — 
as would the loss of her life be, were she to re- 
cognize any one among the thieves, and say so. 


Young women should be most careful with what 
men the^^ contract an acquaintance, for house- 
breakers frequently pretend love to servant 
j^irls, for the purpose of robbing the premises ; 
sometimes with the more shabby intention of 
robbing the girl herself of a little money, and a 
little clothes, together with all her virtue and 
peace of mind. 

A house destined to be robbed, is first survey- 
ed by the parties ; for, it is too much to suppose 
half a dozen men would walk about with the 
proper tools in search of a job ! If an empty, or 
half finished house, be near, — or one is under 
repair, — whence the parapets, roofs or gutters 
are accessible to each other, this is chosen as the 
medium of communication ; and one of the party 
{or two) makes his way into that which is to be 
robbed, by way of the garret. Descending, ac- 
cording to circumstances, he seizes and binds, 
or gags, the only domestic (a female perhaps) 
who has care of the house. He lets in his com- 
panions at his leisure ; and they as leisurely bring 
carts if that be nect siry, to strip the house, and 
carry away, even to the bare walls (we have seen 
it) as completely as if the king's tax-gatherer had 
€ome in, three quarters in arrear. 

Should the kitchen windows towards the area 


be deemed the most vulnerable place, one of the 
party descends, and breaks a pane of glass, which 
enables him to push back the bolt, and he slides 
up the window, the shutter whereof he forces 
with a small crow-bar, and if the house be not 
fully inhabited, he leisurely walks upstairs, and 
admits his accomplices at the front door. In any 
other case they go down the same way he has 
done ; and in both cases it hashappened, that the 
bold rogues have struck a light, drawn a cork or 
two, and smoked their pipes, while stowing away 
the valuables in a portable form ! Undoubtedly, 
obstruction in any possible case, within the house, 
would be attended with blood-shed ; but before 
getting in, the tingling of a chamber bell, the 
barking of a puppy, or the snoring of a servant 
on the ground floor, would scare away the boldest 
attempt that was ever made. 

One of the most unblushing methods is, at once 
to burst open the front door. A small jack, of 
great powers, was known to have been used in 
several cases, a few years ago. It has not been 
heard of lately, and I am thence inclined to be- 
lieve, there was but one of them made adapted to 
this j)ur pose. "With a purchase of one eighth 
of an inch, you might heave St. Paul's with it," 
was a phrase used concerning the Jack ; and as 


tlvdi purchase could be found at the interstices of 
ail pavements, it might be made the instrument 
of u oreat deal of miscliief. Window shutters, as 
well as doors, may be wrenched open, or burst 
asunder by force ; but the noise this makes ren- 
ders it too unsaie for the perpetrators, who do not 
choose to " give a chance away," when any other 
method remains to be tried. Many men can 
rlimb the front of a house as easily as others can 

go up a pair of stairs : I have seen M n, 

the binder, go it in this manner, so as to astonish 
even the knowing ones ; but as he is only an oc- 
casional thief, much evil cannot be expected from 
his acquirements in this way, for some length of 
time, at least, a parcel of cutlery, or a till- 
box being his highest aim yet awhile. 

Another plan is, with the old fashioned fasten- 
ing of a pin through the shutter, to cut the wood- 
work all round the head of the pin, by which means 
the shutter opens, leaving the v\v\ in its or-ginal 
position. This is effected by boring gimblet holes, 
so. as to admit the saw (made of watch spring) ; 
and afterwards breaking a pane of glass so as to 
come at the window fastening, then lifting it up, 
the room in the first instance, and the wliole 
liouse Ultimately, is at thtir disposal. 

Seldom are these latter metliods adopted that 


the family, or some of the neighbourhood, are 
not apprised of them at the moment of perpetra- 
tion ; at the least, I have never gone into an en- 
quiry on one of them, that persons have not been 
awake to the business, more or less. Is it not 
very strange, for instance, that an ojjposite neigh- 
bour's servant should discern a man traversing 
from house to house, along the parapets, or the 
roofs, at fall of the evening (or indeed any time 
of the day) but apprise no one of it ? But such 
is the fact vi^ith regard to several robberies in 
Westminster and other parts of that end of town. 
Again, eight or ten persons heard, or saw, the 
sawing of the window shutter next to the watch- 
house, in Newgate Street, (March, 1815), — even 
the sufferer himself heard — but no one had the 
presence of mind, or the activity, to interrupt 
them; and "although twenty-two watchmen, 
patrols, or constables passed within two yards of 
the place while the business was in hand, yet the 
thieves were not driven from their purpose, but 
exchanged the time of the morning with the 
watchmen," (See Times newspaper, and others of 
March 4) one of whom vvas apparently upon 
good terms with them. Whether he was so or 
not, may be collected from the additional circum- 
stance of his pulling down, repeatedly, the bills 


that were affixed on the walls with a view to dis- 
cover the thieves ! Indeed, it must have been the 
feeling, that ihe watchmen were near, which lul- 
led the suspicions of those inhabitants into an 
imaginary security. 

Although it does not come within our province 
to notice murders that are committed from 
sudden gusts of passion, or the dark malignity 
of oifended pride, yet such as accompany 
robbery are more certainly within our view. 
As such we must notice a wide-spreading 
calamity, in the perpetration of murder by 
wholesale as the first step to burglary. Ever 
since the murder of the family of Marr, in Rat- 
clifte Highway, and that immediately following, 
of the Williamsons, in Gravel Lane, we have 
heard of those compound atrocities more fre- 
quently than of any other species of coal-black 
oflence. The first mentioned was committed on 
the master, mistress, and children of a haber- 
dasher, who keeping his shop open until twelve 
o'clock of a Saturday night, thereby allured the 
murderer to take their lives, the easier to come at 
the money, the receiving of which could not fail 
to be seen from the street through the window. 
A tolerably good lesson this for people who \n-\ 
cautiously make a display of their property. 


The second' named crime was committed on 
the bodies of a public house keeper, his wife and 
servant, by one of their guests, who had conceal- 
ed himself in the cellar. When the deceased 
came to close up finally his bar, and to lock away 
the money, it is concluded the villain made his 
appearance, and perpetrated his diabolical pur- 
pose, A small de;^ree of circumspection might 
have preve .ted this, and indeed the whole cata- 
logue of crimes of the deepexi atrocity ; whereas, 
the lesser ones, people in general, take the most 
precautions to secure theuiselves from being 
made the tools of, mis-judgiu;^ly concluding, that 
those of blackest hue, are never to fall to their 

How unreflecting are the robbers as well as the 
robbed, occasioLally ! When Mr. Wilkinson's 
premises in Mooriieldls v/ere broken into about 
Christmas, 181(>, andneaily one hundred and fifty 
pounds stolen, the gang >ere lO incautious as to 
regale themselves next nighty at the Punch bowl. 
Long alley, not one hundred yards off; where they 
y/ere nosed hy an old v;oni;m, who.^e teeth they 
knocked out, hut were themselves taken in con- 
sequence. At the same house, just a year after, 
two ofticers 'ailed out a thief, to give him the in- 
formation ** that he lay under suspicion, and they 


meant he should go along witli tliem." No 
sooner was he tip to iheir message, than a shrill 
whistle raised the attention of his companions in 
the skittle ground: they were down as a nail in 
five seconds, and the whole party of thirty or 
forty interfered to prevent the consequences ; 
and although " the man was got away," yet the 
officers — now three in number, were dreadfully 
misused, one of them almost massacreed, and all 
of them were " spoiled for plum pudding eating" 
during the holidays which followed, and which 
they gave to their stomachs — appetite having 
taken " leave of absence." 

The first mentioned was the lot attached to 
Jack Pettit, whose girl and two companions had 
the lag {ov fourteen ; the latter case hath yet to 
undergo investigation, before that awful court 
whose painful task is to pronounce the harshest 
sentences of the law. — We therefore forbear to 
say more at present, for obvious reasons. 

" The proof of the pudding is in the eating," 
says an old saw, (and old saws are good some- 
times). We are this moment informed of the 
attack and defence of a [lone] house by three 
women against as many men, at the least, which 
story goes to establish what is said a few pages 
higher up of the security to be reposed in, 



when your house is protected by lights, a dog, 
and fire-arms ; and goes to prove also the deci- 
sive victory which would have attended one other 
precaution which we recommended — viz. a bell, 
hung on the outside of the house — but which 
was here wanting. 

Mr. W having occasion to leave liome, 

for some daj'^s, the house was left under the pro- 
tection of his lady and two maid servants: this 
circumstance was known ; and an hour after 
dark the house was beset by two or three men, 
who were suspected of no good intentions, so the 
doors were well fastened by the female inhabit- 
ants. The lights were kept in, and all three kept 
strict watch ; so that the first attack did not take 
place until eleven o'clock, which was commenc- 
ed with fruitless endeavours to enter by the 

front door. Mrs. W here shewed that 

heroism, whicli sometimes, though seldom, dis- 
covers itself in the female character, upon great 
or paramount occasions. She flew to the door, 
which they were at that moment forcing with a 
crow, as is supposed ; from the inside she haran- 
gued them, with promisi^ of a warm reception 
for the first tliat should enter ; &nd ordered down 
the blunderbuss, &c. for that purpose. " I shall 
not prevent your coming 77?," wiid she, " bwt be 


assured I shall take good care tliat one or two of 
you shall not go out again alive." The house 
dog seconded its mistress, with all its sagacity, 
and seemed to say with her, *' come along scoun- 
drels ;" while the two affrighted servants did all 
in their power to infuse that fear, which alone 
belongs to the base born, and the guilty. They 
now abandoned the attack on the door. 

A very few minutes elapsed when the dog 
showed symptoms of the enemy being again at 
work ; they had piled up loose bricks which lay 
about, and ascended to the top of the parlour 

window. This point Mrs. W thought they 

would penetrate, for they were visible from the 
upper part, or aperture ; she therefore took her 
station at a distant part of the room, that the shot 
might spread, so as to hit the whole of the party 
that might present themselves on the shutter 
giving way, which was every moment expected. 
She called to them again, let go the spring 
sword of the blunderbuss, and hitting the window 
with it, gave them the same assurances, as before; 
then retreated, and took a glass of wine ! within 
their view, as is apprehended. This was too much 
for their stomachs, and they retreated for the pre- 

Hours elapsed before a third endeavour was 


made to get in by the cellar door ; in which they 
so nearly succeeded, that the arm of one was 
visible from within ; but the besieged being on 
the alert, the villain retired his arm in great haste, 
to avoid the thrust to which it was thus exposed, 
and the effects of which he did but just escape. 
At four o'clock in the morning, the assailant* 
drew off; but their retreat would have been cut 
offhy the timely use of a bell, at any moment 
of their endeavours to break in. 

*' A word to the wise is enough," or ought to 
be so ; this descriptive narrative speaking more 
than volumes can, to persons who are open to 
practical advice; let the morose and the self- 
sufficient suffer, if they neglect it. 

A very common practice is, to break a pane of 
glass near the window-fastening, which can be 
soon displaced by introducing the hand at the 
aperture thus made. Shop windows are frequent- 
ly < niered by the same means ; but the breaking 
is generally effected with a glazier's diamond : 
as the shopmen are near at hand and might hear 
the glass fall, a sucker* is employed and placed 
on ihe pannel in the first instance ; then having 

* The sticknr is a small piece of tanned leatlier, which 
bring- well soaked in chamber lies, with a string in the 
centre, will thus Iicavo a woij^ht often or fifteen pounds. 


cut all round near the frame, the piece is haw led 
out, and a good booty no longer remains proble- 
matical. Phosphorus, in a narrow necked bottle, 
after beins^ ig^nited is traced in the line the dia- 
mond is meant to take, which renders the glass 
soft enough for even a common knife to cut 
out, without making a noise. 

N. B. In examining your ])remises to see whe- 
ther your doors and shutters are safe, it is proper 
to feel also ; for the house-breakers furnish them- 
selves with coloured papers, near to that of the 
wood work attacked, with which they cover over 
an aperture until they can return to finish the 
job. Like street robbers, these fellows have 
whistles, and calls, sometimes a word, as " go 
along. Bob," that is to say, — " proceed vigorous- 
ly in the robbery ;" again, " it won't do,'' is the 
sig-nal for desisting, &c. 

After all the precautions that are used to keep 
out the thieves from your house, they prove 
lamentably ineffectual from the superior cun- 
ning or prowess with which their calling endows 
them. First having found out some of your 
connexions, they come and induce you to put 
aside that excellent preventive of sudden intru- 
sion at night — a chain on the door. This is dex- 
terously done by means of a letter, and the bold 


assumption of a friend's name, from whom thej'^ 
pretend to come. Once inside, all goes to wreck. 
— Doors, locks, bolts, boxes and safes — even the 
lives of the inmates, be they more or less, are 
sacrificed to their vengeance, or their ideas of se- 
curing impunity. The murders and robbery of 
Mr> Bird and his housekeeper at Greenwich, 
lately, was of this description ; and we see hovr 
difficult of discovery is the perpetration of the 
compound villainy, that thus sweeps all before 
its remorseless fangs. Charles H y, a foot- 
man out of place it seems, residing opposite that 
ill-fated pair, marked them out for his victims. 

N. B. When any point is suspected of being 
vulnerable, or that attempts have been made 
there, the approach of the villains may be better 
ascertained by strewing a few coal ashes near the 
spot, if the ground be not too sott : although 
they should come without shoes, the crushing if 
sure to be heard. 


Defines itself. It is the act of lifting up, in or- 
der to carry away, slily, goods from a shop or 
Avarehouse ; and is carried on to a great extent. 
We spoke of those who steal from the doors of 
shops, the goods* exposed at them to invite custo- 


mers, under the head of street robberies. In 
the next place, the same class, and some 
carrying their heads much higher in life, enter a 
a shop which is pretty well beset by customers, 
some of whom no doubt are of their own stamp 
and connexions. Those women who are adepts, 
wear the round-about pockets, of very large di- 
mensions, of which we before spoke under the 
head of " Prostitutes." These generally go in 
couples, sometimes more, the better to engage 
the attention of the shopman, whose attention, 
being fully occupied in present business, cannot 
by possibility be paid in two places at the same 
time. Suppose, as is often the case, ten or do- 
zen pieces of printed cotton lie upon the counter 
all of a heap ; they form a pile nearly as high as 
your nose, or are shoved together by the thief, 
the better to form a barrier against the sight of 
the shopman. Muslin being the favorite object of 
pursuit, a piece of it is buried underneath the 
printed goods, or some of its own quality, and 
she who is to take it, withdraws it quickly, as 
80on as the item is given and perceived. If it be 
a whole piece, the quantity would be too much for 
any other than a bulky woman : her size would 
carry off as much as thirty or forty yards without 
creating much suspicion, though their eagerness 


is such that the very thinwest would try it on 
with the most bulky article. 

The skirt or upper petticoat is made with a 
very large pocket hole, or slit half way down ; 
into this the bulky woman thrusts the end of the 
muslin (or other clotli, when that is not come-at- 
able) then slides her round about pocket over it, 
like a case ; and after pushing her sides alternate- 
ly against the counter, or against her accomplice, 
so as to liend it under the projecting belly, off 
she mai'ches, under the pretence of going to some 
other tradesman in order to save time. " Veil, I 
declares ! how long you are a choosing, Mrs. 
Vatkiiis ! I can't stop no longer here, but vill go 
to Mx. Proones's over the vay for my tea and my 
sugar. You come." Outside is another ** to 
take it away," lest there should be an outcry. 
This is done in a court or narrow passage, but 
more frequently at the gin-shop ; the keepers of 
which are sometimes made the holders of stolen 
goods, without knowing it, thinking, to be sure, 
that tliey thereby oblige a customer who is to call 
again. What can amend this facility to the 
escape of the guilty, but compelling the publican 
to place the article where it might be open to 
the view of every one coming in ? 

Although we have given this insight of shop- 


^.liting in its most bulky form, it is not to be 
supposed that the ladies confine their specula- 
tions and practices to muslin alone, nor to the 
poor linen draper's shops exclusively. Haber- 
dasher's shops contain eqnal fascinations for the 
leading foible of the female mind, unchastened 
in the school of philosophy — dress ! All-powerful 
dress, and the over adornment of nature's fairest 
work, leads even ladies to commit crimes which 
their own sempstresses would shudder to contem- 
plate. Ladies of the highest surface-character 
have been known to rob shops repeatedly, an(j 
require the vigilance of the warehousemen as 
much as uomen in the humbler walks of life. 
Without ripping open old sores, or abrading the 
film which covers the wounded character of a 
certain fair one, we must be content with merely 
making the assertion, and asking credit for it 
from our readers. As this is almost the only 
instance in which we have shown any disposition 
to mealy moiithedness, we demand excuse. 

Lace was the object of solicitude in the case 
just alluded to; and is the faA'ourite article of 
purloinment with those who follow shop-lifting 
as a profession : the largest value V>eing contained 
in the smallest space, admirably fits this article 
to claim the preference. 


The large hairj- mufF is charmingly adapted to 
facilitate this species of robbery : it being placed 
upon one arm, and the attention of the shopman 
directed to some article contained in a drawer or 
shelf she is sure is situated just behind, enables 
the lady to pick up with perfect impunity what- 
ever she chooses, whether that be lace, ribbons, 
gloves, trinkets, books, or other desirable article. 

The ridicule, which in summer supplies the 
place of the muff, sometimes raises suspicion from 
its capaciousness, and is no less adapted to receive 
the hasty acquisitions of its owner. Shopmen 
would do well to make an end of their bargaining 
and farcying, respecting one article, before they 
takedown another ; with the additional precaution 
of couatmg the number of pieces, pairs, &c. of 
each, that he may place before his customer. 
This would prevent a great proportion of those 
shop robberies, whicli the tradesman Jecls has 
been committed, without knowing upon whom to 
fix the crime, and half distracted at his own sus- 
picions, he robs liimself of peace and the people 
around liim of their comfort : and, as prevention 
shall be better than cure (all to nothing) any 
time of the day, " such shopmen are guilty (the 
law ought to say) who are so far derelict in their 
duty as to hold out the lure to their master's cus- 
p 2 


toraei's— of mucli confusion in his goods and 
negligence in shewing them." 

If small articles are liable to be thus pur- 
loined, no less so are the most ponderous; only 
these do not occur so often possibly as the for- 
mer. What will the unknowing reader think of 
a man running away with a smith's anvil of 
three hundred weight ? He may stare ! but it is 
not a whit the more untrue, because he happens 
never to have heard of such a thing. I saw 
it myself, in open day, not in a remote corner 
of the town, fent at the corner of Greek Street 
and King Street, Soho. The owners names were 
Jackson and Hartlett ; and the anvil stood just 
inside the door, either to show that they were 
ironmongers, or to perform odd jobs upon. The 
facetiousness of the last named s:eutleman induc- 
ed him to follow, and compel the thief to walk 
back M'ith his load ! assuring him, ironically, that 
he was going the tcrong icai', nnd promising him 
something for the extra trouble he was giving to 
him ; and he performed his promise : it was no 

other than a jolly good kick in the which 

he had for his pains. 

What is it to me, or to you, reader ! that this 
happened long ago ? Have yon not j^ot names for 
the fact ? and the date is a dozen years back at 

168 DRAY llOBBKD. 

least ; but the oddness of the circumstance de- 
served recording, and I made a note of it, without 
any date, thinking I should never be called upon 
to swear every word to its parish, as I have 
been obliged to do almost concerning the infor- 
mation furnished for this book. 

Equally supvising, and much later as to date, 
was another business that happened while I was 
in-doors at the Swan on Snow hill. An ale brew- 
er's dray stopped in the street, while the two men 
took a glass or two of gin at the bar with a friend. 
Any one who ever took a glass of good max there, 
knows how short a time this would take ; but 
it was long enough for those who acted outside to 
carry off three barrels of ale ! One would suppose 
there must have been six men, at least, to per- 
form so much in so short a space of time ; I wat 
convinced no more than four were concerned in 
it, that is to say the friend, who paid for the gin, 
one of the draymen, and two active lads outside. 
They had (I dare say) a fine jollification at the 
holidays, that happened a few days thereaf- 
ter (Christmas, 1817.) If any one doubts the 
fact of this robbery, let them go there and ask 
the landlord ; and, although he will hum / and 
ha ! and hey ! before he gives an answer, I am 
persuaded he knows no more of it than what he 


was told» Thus much I have gone out of the 
straight path to say, in the way of corroboration 
of the anvil story, which the printer's devil told 
me " no one would be so soft as to take in not 
at any price." 

To return to the shop-lifting system of robbery : 
a most barefaced attack upon a shop took place 
within a few Saturdays of the last mentioned 
one. At the top of Bishopsgate Street and Nor- 
ton Falgate, six or seven thieves were making a 
hubhery, as they always do thereabouts on Satur- 
day and Sunday evenings ; — two of them went 
into a hosier's shop, and exchanged a word or two 
of no moment with the master ; they were ^r<\. 
lowed to the door by their companions, one of 
whom handed down a parcel of stockings, and 
passing through the others, walked off with it. 
I had enough of them ; and not choosing to run 
any risk by following up, I left them to the dan- 
gerous means they had adopted to come at the 
property of others, and walked doun Worship 
Street. A sight of the police-office there brought 
me to think what could have become of their pa- 
trol ! for it was past eleven o'clock. 

Stealing prayer-books and bibles from 
churches, was carried on to a great extent four 
to six years ago, by a tall man about thirty years 


of age, who went by no otlier name than " the 
tall-one." He always had one or two books 
upon him (as Paddy Byrne uf-ed to phrase it,) 
and I really thhik he was religious in the main ; 
for he never swore at all, nor was he Jiash to 
slangy however ordinary. There is a north coun- 
try saying, that " the silent sow sucks up the 
most broth ; so this tall-one, who had but little to 
say upon any subject, and nothing upon several, 
had a happy knack of disposing of his Vjooks, so 
as to make them tell double and treble. It was 
thus : going into a bookseller's to sell what he 
might have, he chaffered a good deal about price ; 
and during the interest this would excite in the 
mind of the buyer, he endeavoured to pocket 
some other books. Should this not be possible, 
in consequence of euperior vigilance, or of the 
undivided attention of the people of the shop, 
he would make some excuse to leave his book, 
and calling again when the first person was out 
of the way, or at dinner, would reclaim his book, 
but send it up stairs, &c. the better for the per- 
son to assure himself that the application was all 
correct and honest. This manceuvre enabled 
him to pick and cull, or to pocket any article he 
might have fixed upon. I have known him to 
sell an article by description, before he stole it. 


I call that clever ; as it is also to live a month 
genteelly upon an original stock of only four or 
live prayer-books, with which he rung; the changes, 
at the booksellers : giving those and taking 
books, and receiving money in return. But 
he jnit his foot in it, by overdoing his good 
luck, as most people do, who know not what 
it is to rule and govern themselves. He took 
three volumes of Spectator, to sell by way of 
sampler the remainder of the set, which he stated 
to be ten, but the bookseller insisted was com- 
plete only in forty -five volumes. He at length 
agreed for the whole forty-five, which he meant to 
steal, as he proposed to bring them by piece- 
n)eal; but Mr. Gosling of Castle Street, Leicester 
fields (the right owner) would not let them go 
in that way, and candidly told him so. The 
holder of the three volumes, too, supected him ; 
and both the-e having- menticiied their sus icions 
at a third bookseller's — the tail-one's schemer* 
were blown up, and the books returned to their 
fellows in the set. 

Than the shop-lifter's, there is not a more im- 
provident set of thieves in the whole list. Not 
content with one or two good things (»f a day, 
they will go on from shop to shop, throughout the 
whole blessed day ; so that they get watched by 
Q 2 


the officers, who know them, from that circum- 
stance, and from walkings ingly, one after another, 
occasionally stopping, overtaking, and talking to- 
gether with apparently great inierest : then t^iey 
divide, and enter the fchop just agreed upon, i)y 
one or two at a time, as before f!esc?ibed. If the 
shopkeepers were to adopt the precaution we gave 
a little higher up, they would be alj'e to know 
in a minute or two what they had lost ; and thus 
contribute to the instant detection of the offen- 
ders, by immediately informing the officers what 
goods had been stolen ; for these aciive men run 
into the shops as soon as the tliieves leave them, 
to enquire wliat has been missed ? A question 
which the shopmen seldom answer in the affirma- 
tive, — for the stupids really do not know ; more 
shame for them ! 

In the same way it is the officers find out the 


Or passers of bad money ; many of whom are 
id( ntic.illy the same as the shop-lifters. But the 
difference in the keennf?ss of the pursuit is most 
apparent: the reward upon conviction of the 
latter description being more liberal and more 

* Sec pag^cs 2 and 12. 


certain ; and two or three officers find it worth 
their while to spend a whole day in thus pnrsuing 
them from shop to bhoo, until they are discovered, 
— one or tlie othet- always keeping them in view, 
when another is making his hasty enquiries, as 
above mentioned. 

Under this head we must class the passers of had 
notes, or forgeries of the Bank of England cask 
notes ; nor do we see why the ruses which rogues 
have recourse to, the better to get rid of stolen 
notes (or those which are otherwise improperly 
come by) should not be considced of the same 
genus : all three involve their utterers in the 
same penalty — death ; and all require the same 
management to avoid detection, or even pursuit. 
For instance, a man received a ten pound note 
too much for a cheque on a bank (Master man's) 
— he affects that he has not received more than 
the right sum, for aught he knew ; or, if he has, 
that he paid it away again just as he received it. 
Upon coming to trial , however, it turns out that he 
goes to a shop in Red Lion Street, Holborn, from 
which it is sent to the public-house to be changed ; 
and up to this latter place it is traced from the 
Bank of England. Proving, in this manner, the 
fellow as dishonest as if he had come at the pro- 
perty by means of burglary or of highway rob- 
Q 3 


bery. Hence tipwards there ascend gradations 
of guilt, as variously featured as the actors in 
them are numerous ; but is it not a little extra- 
ordinary that the makers of forged notes are never 
found out ? The engraver ! the paper-maker ! 
the rolling press ! all are buried in the obscurity 
of night, and bid fair to leave old Patch-Price^ 
the single instance of a combination of the triple 
talent in one man. Forty-seven prosecutions a- 
year, upon an average of twelve years, arc 
brought by the Bank against the tools and 
agents of the forgers, but not one in thirty years 
against the principals. How ! and why is this ? 

Not one of these forgeries ever met my eye, 
that I was not convinced I could have discovered 
of my own accord ; but although there were 
any positively bad in my hands or those of my 
friends, I have the means of passing them safely, 
in such a way, that the Bank never prosecute, for 
they never discover them from their own. 

How few give their right name and residence 
on changing notes at the Bank ! 


Infest the doors of decent people of every degree 
in society, and some of them pres»s forward even 
to your study, and infringe upon your retirement. 



And pretenders to superior sanctity, (teachers,) 
are the worst characters of this class, for they 
know just enough to feel that they are impostors, 
in their degree. French emigrants, partaking of 
both descriptions, a few years ago, overran the 
land ; the quene of that safety-seeking race still 
inhabit here, and teach their doubtful laorals, 
and a deference for their language it by no means 
deserves. The nobility and gentry were the 
chief dupes of those fawning hypocrites ; but 
they descended ah© into the kitchen, and tasted 
in the pantries of middling tradesmen the good 
cheer of John Bull ; while they des,iised his man- 
ners, and honest blunt prejudices, which has 
kept his more genuine offspring uncontaminyted 
with the moiikey-tricks and false philosophy 
which was imported with their fears. The con- 
sequences are, that our manners have undergone 
a change by no means for the better, (whicJi they 
ought to have done when altered at all) and our 
language is contaminated to the last degree of 
Frenchijication. At the tables of those who can 
afford to give them good dinners, we n d those 
of our own (triple) nation in abundance, who 
pretend to an intimate acquaintance with 


modern, if not ancient, literature ; but who are 
certainly impostors in just the same degree as 
they assume more than they know. 

All those pretenders cheat \ou out of every 
mouthful you permit them to devour ; out of 
every shilliijg you may advance them by way of 
loan, or as payment for you own or } our chi'.drens* 
improvement, (if the becoming mere jargonists 
be improvement.) There is too much of argu- 
ment in all our conversations, male and female, 
now-a-dnys, in consequence; and those were 
the sources of the hateful use of question 
and answer in the commonest occurrences of 


Fellows who, without any previous preparation, 
or even the laying on of hands (so much vaunted) 
contrive to ingratiate themselves into the good 
graces of the daughters, wives, and widows of 
our more wealthy citizens, who would fain per- 
suade you (as they have persuaded themselves) 
that their mission is from above, whereas nothing 
is better known, than that some few of them had 
pretty extensive dealings beloiv. Every one 
must have heard of the Reverend John Church! 
Here I hope the truli/ pious clergyman will for- 


'^'ive rne for using the word ironically ; for there 
never could at any moment be a particle of real 
reverence borne tovcards a preacher, who laying 
under inipntalious of a lieinous nature, should ac- 
knowledge them in the pulpit. His congregation 
seemed even to stick to him the closer, the more 
proof of his guilt there was adc uced against him ; 
until at length the inexorable^a^ of the law took 
him from their i^i£^t into soht .y imprisonment. 
Who has not heard of O'Meara, who by dint of 
corruption, and a harlot's interest, sought to 
seat himpelf in one of tlie highest pinnacles of 
the church ? Mrs. Clarke had another of the €ame 
cloth, who inttrmeddled in her dirty business ; 
and the Reverend Mr, Williams, was only dis- 
charged from the .ustody of the sergeant at arms 
upon a plea of madness. Not so mad, either : he 
can play » rubber at .vhist, or a game at cribbage, 
as keenly as the best that ever lived ; and 
although he seems lame, if he loses he can run 
away ; it" he wins he can threaten, hector, bully, 
and, it is believed, can fight. He can swear too ; 
but once on a time the magistrate would not 
permit him. 

The reverend Augustus B***y is no longer a 
cleriJryman, though he undergone his de- 
gree^, and has udviinced a step or two in the 


church : he is perpetual president of the butcher- 
meeting at the corner of Newgate Market. Ano- 
ther of the ir-reverends is a dabster at back- 
gammon, attiiched to ale, loves a good dinner, 
talks jollify sings a (bad) song ; and has been 
found upon the lay, for which he caught quod. 
He gambles deep and long, and is always down 
upon tlie countryman : 1 know not to what kidney 
he belongs ; but hear, he has tried three sorts ofhC' 
lief or o^ discipline, from which I conclude he 
must be <i Trinitarran. I shall not tell bis name 
©utii^ht, for two reasons : 1. because he has stood 
the putter; 2. because he was always civil, 
and once v«^ry kind to me when I was misused, 
like him : it very much resembles a brisk wind 
blowing in the dark. 

Great numbers of such as we have described 
pervade town ; but our readers must not permit 
their reverence for the clotli, to sway their judg- 
ment into the slightest deference for the men. 

About twenty years ago, (and less by eight or 
ten,) there was a kind of house of call for journey- 
men pars:>;)>^, who met at the King's Head near St. 
Paul's every Saturday. There you might see the 
Reverend Mr. Jones, and the Reverend Mr. Styles 
settling a change of service for to-morrow : a dis- 
pute between Dr. D n and Denis Lawler, the 


playwright ; scraps of Latin thrown out to bother 

tlie Reverend Mr. M y, and to remind him of 

Inverness and Gibraltar, — together with a dozen 
other incongruities. 

If those clergy, as they are improperly called, 
fumiliarize with your families, and under the 

garb of sanctity, obtain the ear and the 

of its females (all for pure christian love.) There 


Who are no less dangerous, if admitted into your 
friendship or that of the female part of your fa- 
mily. One of these, named , was lately 

discovered debauching the wife of his benefactor 
under circumstances of the most aggravating 
nature. Many of them })ay attention to the 
pecuniary concerns of your families, whilst 
pretending to administer to their corporeal evils: 
such fellows contrive to become extcutors to the 
wills of their dying patients, or to marry the 
daiigliteis of such as are tolerably rich; and then 
they become (what is called) '* regular*;'* 
though their previous education, in most cases, 
only qualify them for servintc in a haberdasher's 
or a draper's shop, or probably th,e still more 
honourable employiajent of shaving and hajr-cut- 

180 quack's tricks- 

t'ng. We now know persons who have emerged 
out of those professions, and become regular ; 
but can the lion change its skin or the leopard 
its spots? 

Nostrum-mongers abound, who prepare some 
panacea, that will cure various and di*cordant 
disorders ; thus playing with the lives perhaps, 
certainly with tl.e health and happiness of thos* 
who hearken to their advice. 

Hand-bilis and advertisements are the chiefest 
means of obtaining notice, the details of which 
are too disgusting to be copied into these pages. 
Whoever have been unfortunate enough to con- 
tract a certain loathsome disease, should be upon 
their guard against pretended doctors, whose 
chief object is to keep them in hand a long time, 
in order to make more charges : the fellows who 
sell ready-made medicines (called patent) ar^ 
arrant cheats, inasmuch as the same preparation* 
cannot efftct a cure in two stages of the same 
disorder. The publican's paper (as it is called) 
is almost daily crowded with these filthy invita- 
tion^, «nd bombastic pretentions. Ladies, persons 
of delicacy, the totally uninformed on libidinous 
subjects, h&ve that undescirable propensity thus 
continually pressed upon their notice, by being 
put immediatelv into their jjunds. This part of 


our complaint has abated considerably of late } 
and ought to be put down altogether. 


or those who propose to transact your affairs by 
way of agency, 'calling themselves " Law Agents;" 
and " Accomptants'* partake somewhat of the 
character of the Sycophants or useful men 
whom we described higher up These gentry 
are mostly clerks of pettifogging lawyers, who 
permit them to sue in their names for debts, 
real or imaginary, actions for damages, assaults, 
&c. They are at times such as have been in good 
clerkships, but now out of employment; and 
they constantly talk of the respectable concerns 
to which they once belonged : " this was 
always the practice at B. and A.'s, when I was 
there;" *' We never failed to get the money by 
these means," says the pettifogger, in order to 
give his advice an air of consequence. A great 
proportion of them know no more of law than whatS- 
they have learnt " Over the water," or at " No. 
9, Fleet Market."* These are admirably fitted 
for " Agents" in the Debtors Court, under the 

* The King's Bench and Fleet Prisons are thus quaintly 


Insolvent Act ; but their charges are gene- 
rally double or treble those of the more respectable 
regular practitioner. A few, however, have been 
actual practitioners; but some aberrations of 
conduct having offended " the Court," it has 
struck them off its rolls. They genevdlly practise 
about the police-offices, and at tf e Old Bailey, 
"for the defence ;" that is ^o say, for the prisoners ; 
in which way they become the acquaintance and 
familiars of the blackest rogues and thieves in 
or about town. The history of one will serve for 
that of all ; though we must premise, there arc 
two persons of the same initial letter, which is 
all we shall say for distinctions* sake. Our 
hasty sketch of Mr. B. commences fifteen or six- 
teen years ago, when we find him standing in 
the pillory, at Blandford in Dorsetshire, for threa- 
tening to inform against a glover, on the stamp 
duty, and demanding money to forego the action ! 
Then it was he was struck ofi', with some severe 
notice of the chief justice; and ever since he 
has lived by his wits, as an informer generally, 
but we have reason to believe we have seen him 
on the lay also; at least he has been present 
when things have been done. In summer time 
he visited Margate, Brighton, and other fashionable 
resorts, laying the gambling-tables under contri- 


bution, and threatening inform ations against 
illegal games of chance, then veiy prevalent; 
receiving in return for his trouble, and to pur- 
chase his silence, sums proportioned to business 
done ; this profiruble trade continued as long 
as the evi^ lasted- Until Silver commenced auc- 
tioneer, to amufcfa his customers, iifi Bettison 
sung with the same view. Mr. b. vvith his pall, 

\V ~ y, (then in practice as an attorney) went 

their rouitds, collecting tribute with as much ease 
as the Dey of A Igiers collects his, — and m a si- 
milar manner. 

About the year 1803, these two Worthies went 
to work by wholesale, informing ao-ainct eleven 
newspapers on the same day, for Ituving inserted 
advertisements, in which it was proposed to take 
back a watch which had been lost at Stroud fair, 
without asking any questions. As this oifer was 
liable to a fine of 50/ under what is i ailed Jona- 
than Wild's act, they had a good pull. However, 
the whole of the parties stood so firmly, that very 
little good came of it; on thccontrar}-, oneof them 
took the attempt so ill, that he contrived to upset 
their apple cart, *when afterwards they laid a ^11- 

* " Upset his apple-cart," said of one whose whole pe- 
cuniary concern is ruined. 

R 2 


awaj/i information against a coal merchant in 
Durham yard : they were almost ruined upon that 
occusioii. For some years Mr. B. went by the 
name of Brown (and Colonel Brown) of Leicester 
square ; old B*****d, of Gresse Street, being his 
nominal informer ; that is to say, he whose name 
was inserted iii the writ *' Qutere clausum fre- 
git,'''' their favourite mode of proceeding. His com- 
panions never mention his real name, or, indeed, 
any other, contenting themselves invariably with 
the initials only, in the same way we have used it 
above. This did not arise from any dislike to 
naming the instrument with which house-maids 
excite the fire to burn, but merely to throw 
dust into the eyes of byrstanders, and to avoid 
the ■)ainful recollections ofBlandfoid, and of his 
lordship's emphatical conclusion, " henceforth 
let the name of B- s be infamous, for its pre- 
sent possessor has rendered it so." 

Some real lawyers sit about at low public 
liouses, {and as high ones as they can attain to) 
in order to obtain customers, fomenting differ- 
ences, and setting friends by the ears. 

We know a score or more of them, whose 

f " FiH"away ;" to fill the sacks without first measuring 
tlic coalsj according to the act. 


chiefest practice is picked up in shabb- actions 
arising at public houses, and in markets, as 
Wliitechapel, Leadenhall, Covent Garden and 
Newgate. So barefaced are they in this nefari- 
ous pursuit, that one of them at the last named 
market, hearing of the edito^-'s ititentiou in col- 
lechnii^ materials for the present publication, — 
offered an indemnity under his hand, if his 
name and address cuid be imerted here at full 
lengtJi, As this, ho\'^ever, would but give 
publicity to his paltry mode of practice, we 
decline to pander to his notoriety : our duty to 
the public is paramount to every other considera- 
tion ; and Lawyer may have back his inteuaed 

present by calling at the bar of the same house, 
where it has lain several weeks, and shall remain 
to eternity for aught we care for it or aim. 
Had it suited our purpose, we should much rather 
have inserted a song concerning him which we 
saw at Pardy's last summer. 


Under the guise of either bringin jj some article 
that has been ordered by the master, or with 
the false statement that they are sent by him for 
money or other matters of trade. At times they 
11 3 


have a box or parcel to deliver from the 

stage coach or mail ; the favourite being a bas-» 
ket of game, part of which is visible at one 
corner, such as the foot of a hare, or the neck of 
wild fowl. Upon laying open the cheatery, you 
fiave no other present than that 1 have just men- 
tioned, besides a good hard stone or two, and a 
little hay, with which you may wipe down the 
perspiration which must hereupon necessarily 

In all expositions such as these, there is no- 
thing like adducing instances, or as we stiffly 
call them *' cases," which have been decided ; 
and although our word is not to be doubted, so 
fur »s we know, the names have been as constantly 
inserted as they appeared necessary, together with 
the dates, when they were known or appeared 

Sir John Sylvester, our Recorder, himself un- 
derwent the master-(/p some two or three years 
ago, in manner following. Going to the Sessions 
Hou^e in the Qld Bailey one morning, upon the 
grand patter, in much haste, he left his watch 
behind ; and, vexed ^t the circumstance, he 
opened to Mr. Common Sergeant, *'tut! tut! 
if I have not left my watch hanging against the 
bead of the bed !" ' 


A fellow overhearing this, who with a great num- 
ber of others, was standing upon the steps (all being 
upon the hedge) runs off to Chancery lane with 
a made-up message, that he was come for the 
Recorder's watch, which would be found han^^ing 
up at head of the bed, and by this token he 
asked to be believed. What could be more con- 
vincing ? There the watch hung ; and it was 
delivered accordingly— but never reached the 
hands of its owner again. 

Another plan is, to follow a master or mistress 
to the butcher's shop, and when they have 
bought and sent home their meat, to run into the 
shop with a plate or small basket, for some addi- 
tional article, stating that the leg of mutton or 
ribs of beef (as the case may be) which was sent 
in just now, are not to be dressed to day. This 
scheme will do for any open shop trade, where 
the customers can be seen from the outide ; and 
the only precaution against it is, for trades-people 
so exposed not to deliver their goods to the ap- 
plicant, but to send them home. 

It is not always, however, people can be aware 
of this imposture. A young woman, with a child 
in her arms, knocked at the door of, and enquired 
for, Mr. B-— , He was not at home, she 


knew before hand ; so she stated, that he had 
been at Mrs. Salmon's wax work exhibition, and 
ordered some little pricked pictures which lie 
there for sale, upon which he had left two shil- 
lings ; the remainder of the purchase, eight 
shillings and sixpence, was to be paid to the 
bearer, she said, and became very importunate 
for the money. However, his maid servant was 
sufficiently awake to thwart her imposition con- 
cerning the pictures, as well as an attempt she 
made to leave the child and run off! but the 
butcher's man came into the kitchen with a tray 
of meat while she sat there, and she left the house 
soon after : going to the butcher's shop, she chose 
a piece of beef, which she took home, the man an- 
swering for its " being all right," as he had 
just seen her at the house. The child not having 
been employed upon the latter part of the trans- 
action, induces a belief that she had a compa- 

Jonathan Harris, formerly respectable as a 
ribbon dresser, in Foster lane, was examined at 
Guildhall, in August, 1817, on charges of having 
delivered baskets and other packages, purporting 
to have come by coaches, for which he demanded 
the carriage and porterage charges, at various 


sums. He was committed specifically for thus 
taking in a bookseller in Paternoster row ; but was 
let off at the sessions following, through a mis- 
taken act of lenity. 

"Women, and costermongers, who hawk about 
poultry, apples, butter, meat, &c. when they 
find trade rather slat k, will at times make a finish 
of their day's work by preteiiding they have 
been ordered to call with their wares. Such as 
these seldom impose as to prices ; but generally 
put off aged poultry, or meat tiiat died by the 
hand of its maker. Plated butter — (i. e. fresh 
on the outside, tallow in the middle) and such 
other impositions as may suogest themselves to 
their ingenuity. Most costermongers are thieves, 
smashers, and the like. We might have said 
ail of them ; but choose to leave a hole for some 
one to creep out at. 

Hay and straw salesmen are doreout of a load 
or two occasionally, by a clumsy fellow, whom 
it is a disgrace not to have detected for a villain 
at his very first appearance, in this manner. 
He orders the hay to be sent to a respectbble 
name, at a respectable mews, or a livery suible; 
where the driver is of course to be pi>id oji deli- 
very, but he retires into a neighbouring house t© 


get the money, while the men unload, but never 
appears again. 


For servants, increase in number as they decrease 
in respectability. The very sight of some of 
them carry conviction to the coarser senses of the 
object they have in view : viz. the pilfering of 
the unwa^ry. Can any servant be so beso' ied as 
to suppose, that a master or mistress would tuter 
the nasty h.;]es at which thc)'^ pretend to supply 
the.a with situatiovs ? Boards are put up w ith 
** situaticu'" marked on th.-n, and "wanted,'* 
followed by the vague notice of "mairl of all 
work, in a small family ;"' " As footman, where a 
hoy is kept,'"'' and other such addenda^ to make the 
matter palatable by the idea of little to do, — to 
gull the idle, and to draw the simple of a few 

In walking from Smithfield in a straight line to 
Finsbury Square, you will find three offices of 

* Tlic earliest establishment of this nature appears to 
liave been situated opposite Cecil Street, Strand, about the 
year 1740, and called tlie Universal Rejjister, partaking much 
of the nature of our modern *' Echo OflSce," embracing- every 
object of useful intelligence. 


this description, all ou the same side of the way ; 
and these may serve as a sampler of a great pro- 
portion of all the rest. 

Money is paid at most of them upon entering 
tlie name, but very few of the pilfered servants 
obtain what they seek, — a good place ; most of 
them go without any, or are referred over to 
such as il would, be beneath them to accept of. 
This is done to amuse them ; and the poor 
deluded creatures exhaust their little stocks 
in subsistence, and are driven on the town ; 
whilst the shark, who pockets the deposit money, 
and laughs in his sleeve, sends them to houses 
which never thought of employing him, nor of 
discharging their present servants. 

But there is reason to believe worse practices 
than these prevail at some of them : of one we can 
speak with certainty, that not long ago the same 

house was a b y house, and a receptacle for 

female servants out of place, as well as a Register 
office for servants, — most of whom are females. 
We often pass the end of Maiden lane ; and if 
upon enquiry we find there is cause to do so, this 
passage shall be softened before it goes to press. 

Very few register offices for servants occur 
vithin the city of London proper ; but among 


these, the most respectable, and piquins^ itself up- 
on being- on the most " equitable plan," has been 
open to the shocking depravity of '* the son ;" 
who with our eyes have we seen, and with our ears 
have we heard, in libidinous intercourse with female 
servants, applying at his father's office ; — we for- 
bear saying more at present : four or five years 
may have worked mighty alterations ; but wiiat 
has happened may happen again, whatever the 
fatalist may say. 

After all, these offices, properly conducted, are 
greatly convenient to servants as well as em- 
ployers ; therefore it is more especially the duty 
of moralists to take care they do not devolve into 
brothels, or worse. No doubt exists, that procu- 
resses or bawds often hire female servants from 
regis^ter offices, for the purf)Oses of their custom- 
ers. Generally, the seduction goes on slowly ; 
the victim of their delusion being engaged by 
some modest friend or middling tradesman; 
and,beingfcent to the bawdy-house with messages, 
is there entrapped. One of those many old 
bawds wlio live in splendour, keeps three bad 
houses and one modest one. She is lately mar- 
ried to a fellow , who at Deal sustained the nick 
name of " King of Prussia." Alie Street to wit. 


Concerning the first of these we must not s.iy 
an adverse word : there is an aet of parliament 
to make them lega] ; and who dares contravene 
the ordinances of a law so positive, though it 
sanctions crime, and renders that innocent, which 
is in itself altogether baleful and injurious? 
But we may be i^ermitted to go into figures : we 
may calculate, that if for every thousand tickets 
the lottery contains, only ten thousand pounds 
are divided among the whole, (or ten pounds 
each,) then every pound paid for a ticket more 
than ten pounds, is taken out of the pockets 
of the purchaser ; and is so much lost, thrown 
away, or cheated out of you. The half ticket 
would then be worth Jive po^inds, — the quarter 
ticket two pounds ten shillings^ — the eighth one 
pound five shill'wgs, — and the sixteenth tivelve 
shillings and sixpence. On the contrary, at pre- 
sent, the sixteenth is charged twenty -seven shil- 
lings, and the whole ticket twenty pounds ! and 
what for ? 

Answer that ye knaves ! Tell us how it comes 
to pass, that the capital prizes are never drawn 
until towards the latter end of the drawing } 


All that has been said hitherto about insurances 
upon lottery numbers, must undergo revision. We 
might as well talk of carrying Thames water a 
horse-back to Islington, or of the advantage of 
hand spinning over the machines, as to describe the 
methods of obtaining insurances. Their baleful 
effects on the deluded wretches who were the 
victims of the practice, or of the circumventing 
policy of those who by means of pigeons contri- 
ved to do the insurers. Nearly all the regularly 
licensed lottery offices used to become insurers : 
some of them did a great deal, and employed 
a great many " collectors of numbers ;" of 
whose activity you might form some judgment, 
by placing your back against the Mansion-house 
on the first morning of drawing, and turning 
eyes right, note the buz at the back doors in 
Lombard Street, when the first drawn ticket i» 
announced. Although very little insurance can 
now be eff'ected, on account of the new mode in 
which for several years the lotteries have been 
drawn, yet that little is attempted; and we 

heard with surprise that P. D ns, an amiable 

good sort of a regular foolish kind of a lottery 
office keeper, lost nearly all his property, by 
means of the old clumsy artifice of two poH one. 


That is, where two persons combine to cheat a 

Peter's confidential man and collector re- 
guiarl)' brought in his book at the proper minute ; 
but by leaving a vacancy open a page or two 
back, he was enabled to insert the number of 
tlie first drawn ticket with the name of his con- 
federate annexed to it, which number was 
brought to him, and dropped into the cellar by 
that confederate, after the doors had been long- 
locked up, according- to act of parliament. 

That collector, whom it will be recollected we 
have not yet named [DaficT) use to set at work 
a little go for several years just over his regular 
office ; but a lady, whose losses were too much 
for her temper, took in dudgeon the sullen beha- 
viour of the blind goddess who holds a wheel in 
lier hand ; so applied at the shrine of the blind 
*' He who holds a sword in one hand and scales 
in the other :" they put down his table, and the 
office is extinguished. 

At the west end of the town little goes are 
strewed about in great plenty, and in the sea- 
son double their activity as well as their number. 
They are of various descriptions ; the master of 
the house always taking a profit on the play, for 
s 2 


which he finds refreshments of the most costly 
kind. In this providing, the houses vie with 
ewch other in sumptuousness ; wines of all sorts, 
and viands of the costliest kinds, are always at 
hand. Five per cent. Jon all the money won, 
pays him well for this ; which is the profit or 
allowance, on such games as Whist, Faro, 
Rouge et Noir, &c. At E. O., the bar E. bar O. 
falls to the master for the same purpose. When 
rank cheatery begins, tis called a Jo, 

But if these are the regular profits of his trade, 
what do not they not amount to when he is game 
enough to provide a table with a false top ? Tbii 
is the modern method of fleecing, and the master 
is sure to be in it : this is the sine qua non of 
the speck ; for who would be at the expence, 
and run the risque of discovery, were he not to 
divide the Cole ? 


Although numerous laws bear down and grind 
the publicans, and render the keeping a small or 
low house little better than slavery, there should 
not be one the less kept in force against them ; 
but on the contrary it has been suggested, that 
they should be further compelled to aid the police 
in the detection of criminals, who take refui^e 


under their roofs. No greater mischief can exist 
than a game publican ; none more baleful to 
the morals of youth who may frequent his house, 
by the encouragement his smile gives to the 
theory, and the sanctuary his walls afford to the 
practice of thieving. Let a man of experience 
talk lightly of crime before a young man of 
acute disposition, and the bulwarks of his morals 
give way, then is he fit to be enlisted into the first 
knot of desperate fellows who may sally forth, to 
make a prey of the defenceless and the unsus- 

The major part of those who keep public houses 
of the second, third, and lower degrees, are men 
who have filled menial situations in life ; of course 
they are not expected to exhibit much refinement 
of manners ; civihty being the nearest approach 
to it, they ever reach, and that is enough in the 
general way. It were well if 'twere no worse. 
Some are churls, and endeavour to controul those 
they cannot persuade to deal with them ; other* 
;are unjust, and take advantage of those whom 
chance throws in their way; others again, cheats 
by what is called chalking double, or charging 
more liquor than has been taken. Not a few of 
tliose combine also the Swindler with the other 
parts of their character, in learning to beat their 


customers at playing the usual games, as skittles 
or back-gammon, cards ordominos, bj' means of 
all the tricks and turns to be found in each, 
which they most sedulously acquire of pedestrian 
professors. Does it wot savour strongly of the 
Swindler, for a man to sit hours upon the stretch 
at the Bagatelle board, to learn of a Sharper hovy 
to accomplish any given number? So that the 
next customer that comes \n to play with him is 
quite certain of losing, whatever the stakes may 

But crying as are those evils for redress, they 
vanish into smoke before the superior magnitude 
of permitting pubhc houses to be kept by men 
who have been had up for imputed crimes 1 Re- 
turned lags, though they are the best defined 
villains, are not more dangerous than those whose 
doings are known to subject them to the laws. 
They dare not object to any thing that may be 
l^roposed ; witness he in High Holborn, who per- 
mitted the cart-load of hosiery to be unlade at 
his house of a Sunday morning, which had that 
night been stolen from a shop ? and all this 
against his better judgment ; for the adage is not 
a good one, which says " the more public the 
more private." Again, I know that Georgey 
C——n, in Tottenham Court Road, was desirous 


of leaving off several years, but could not (least- 
wise he told me so) ; but what was my surprise, 
after years of absence, (notwithstanding George 
died in the mean time) to find the house in the 
same line. Coming out of Bedford Square, eyes 
right ! there I saw ten or twelve of the oldest 
hands on town, sunning themselves at the door ! 
The new man 1 found had been one of those con- 
cerned in the affair respecting the buying of 
hay in Whitechapel, at Hill's public house, and 
is supposed to have sacked all the money. 

Cripplegate is supposed to be that Ward in the 
city, the police of which is the best regulated of 
any, and most carefully watched ; but I know 
two gajjie publicans in it, whose houses are well- 
known haunts for night robbers — more or less. 
Standing with your back at the church-door, and 
stretching out your hands, not quite straight, you 
shall find one of them at fifty yards to the right ; 
the other stands about two hundred and fifty yards 
to the left hand, having a small sinus or elbow still 
farther to the left. It is a strange coincidence 
that upon going into either of those four houses 
vou step down (more or less) out of the street ; — 
the last mentioned having two good steps; — 
with the two first the descent is but just per- 


Will it not seem slrange, that a public bouse 
should b^a receptacle for rogues, two and twenty 
years, and its licence still continue ; and this, al- 
though John Greatorex, at tlie other end of the 
road, lost his licence without cause assigned? 
The magistrate who said "that he granted a 
licence to a house which had been put down for 
a year, because he did not like to hurt the pro- 
perty ; and becau^e the house had been newly 
fitted up in a tasteful manner;'' adding, that 
" the icalls had committed no crime !"* gave 
but a puerile excuse for one of his numerous 
partialities. I never go down Bethnal green with- 
out thinking of him, and his associates, with a 

Are deserving of notice here, from the quantity 
of mancEuvring they are always at with their 
customers, with the public, and with each other. 
Their conduct towards the publicans is of the 
most unjustifiable nature (we hope there are 
exceptions) : these are accused of not filling their 
measures, which they attribute to the quantity of 
air that the machine forces into the beer ; but one 

* See Police Report of Exauiiuations bsfore the House of 
Coiiiiuons' committee. 


or two, more ingenious than the rest, conftss 
they are driven to adopt the fraudulent practice, 
because they do not themselves receive measure 
from the brewers. A late writer* has exposed 
this matter fully, (and much praise is due to him 
for the exposition) by giving the particular 
modes in which the butts are so rendered de- 
ficient in their contents, which ought to be one 
hundred and eight gallons each, whereof two are 
expected to be ullage, or bottom. But Welby 
King says, he has measured butts out of which 
only ninety-nine gallons of proper porter could 
be drawn ; and we understand, that through his 
representations, many cask-alterations have taken 
place,- — though not to the full extent of the com- 

What can the poor publican do ? Should he 
complain, he loses his licence, if the brewer has the 
ear of the magistrates, as we have seen proved. f 
That is, if he holds a free house, and the brewei 
holds the lease, and with it the customary " war- 
rant of attorney," Messrs. Brewer and Co. enter 

* In the New Monthly Magazine for 1 January, 1818. 

t Vide Police Report of the House of Commons; which 
ought to be read by everybody, and studied by all concerned 
in public house licences. 


up judgment, " Fi fa" his goods and chattek, 
and put in another man who will take it more 
kindly; one who more obsequiously draws their 
rot-o-ut stuff, and recommends his customers to 
cure themselves on the spot with cordial gin. 

N. B. One scarcely ever gets a drop of good 
beer at a mere gin shop ; these appear to me to 
choose the brewer who sells the worst article. 

Bad goods disgust the public, and that with 
short measure, hastens the ruin of the suffering 
publican ; hence the great number of moves 
(removals) tlu;t happen daily, to the great surprise 
of every one who does not trace effects up to their 
sources ; and to the advantage chiefly of the 
brokers of spirits, aud the appraisers of goods — 
who alone reap the harvest that is produced by 
bad beer, Tvloreover, that brewing concern, how- 
ever rich, is sure to go to Avreck, sooner or later, 
which serves the public with a bad article, be- 
haves harshly to its retailers, or disingenuously 
to their fellow brewers. We know them. This 
latter description of conduct is the least interest- 
ing to the public ; for, who cores when two tigera 
tear each otiier's hides ? But we cannot help 
thinking, tjiat the brewer, who carncys with, 
fawns to, or, by hook or by crook pays a magis- 
trate, to act unl'airly towards another brewer, will 


do any dirty work. The employer and employed 
being' equally bad. 

The distillers play an under-game generally, 
unless where a gin shop has a great trade, and 
then they are the chief creditors. For more on 
this subject see under the head " smuggling," 
" private distillery." 


Or useful m§n, as they are called, abound now 
more than ever, in consequence of ihe recently 
depressed st^e of our manufactures. They arose 
out of the latter description of people on the 
town ; for, as a bad trade produced Jobbers and 
Mock-auctions, with the Duffers and the Barkers, 
so the whole combined gave life to a race of 
men hitherto undefined, who ought to be termed 
" Sycophants," because they are so. These, not- 
withstanding they seem to have much knowledge 
of the world, owe their depressed situation in life 
to the very want of that knowledge being carried 
into practice ; and yet it is by the tender of their 
services in the way of information and advice, 
that they prey upon the unsuspecting part of the 
community. Whatever is to be done, they tender 
their advice, and offer their assistance, asking in 
return to fill a glass out of your bowl, or to par- 


take of your dish ; at least, if they do not put the 
question, their gentle hints it is impossible to 

Of all qualities and all pretensions, they are to 
be found at every public house, tavern, and din- 
ing-house ; where, if you tell ever so inane a story, 
they are the first to commend, and they laugh at 
what is »iett7?f for a joke, although it should be 
egregious nonsense. Make a display of your 
yiurse, and these fellows will lick the dust from 
your feet ; though yon mistake so palpable a 
matter as the hour of the day, they are ready to 
swear you are right ; their politeness is fulsome, 
their panegyrics nauseate. Sam. Ireland's de- 
finition of them was a good one : he termed them 
*' toad-eaters," who w onld swallow any one's 

Are you in doubt what road to take, or how to 
fiishion your tiiste for vcrtu ? The sycophant can 
direct you better, according to his own shewing, 
than any one alive. They are to be found ply- 
ing at the liotel, as well as the wuterivg^house ; 
and although I am not admitted at either the 
Blenh.emi or Long's, yet I have seen them at 
places standing equally high with those fashiona- 
ble houses. I have met with theim at the Old 
Bailey Eating houses^ at t};e Oiick-lane .soup 


houses, and in eveiy gradation thence upwards ; 
but, they are mj'^ readers oP the middling classes, 
who are the likeliest to be exposed to their malig- 
nant influence, ulien they enter the houses of re- 
freshment adapted to their respective circum- 
stances. Unless they mean to be willing dupes, 
let them reject the protfered civilities of such 
gentry : the rouj^h-hewn contradictions of the 
blunt countryman, or the man of strong mental 
powers, are to be prized ten-fold before them. 

And yet, though these sycophants may be des- 
pised for their servility, they are not to be reproba- 
ted too deeply : they have bought a knowledge of 
the world, and they would sell it again, and those 
who have a wish to become purchasers are merely 
cautioned not to pay too dearly for what they 
receive. Undoubtedly, much town-talk informa- 
tion from men retired from trade, is very desira- 
ble, always entertaining, and sometimes profita- 
ble ; yet the chances are so much against the 
latter, that 'tis two to one the stranger gets done 
out of his property — more or less. The thorough- 
bred sycophant may be known by his carney or 
small talk, or by his whining ; by his mouth being 
always open, either to communicate something, 
or to partake of your refreshments. 

Generally, they have little second rate trades- 


men at hand, whom they recommend you to make 
purchases of; these put their heads together, the 
one 10 impress you with a good idea of the goods 
and the vender, and the latter to put on extra 
profits, the better to divide with the sycophant, 
a decent sum at your expense. Another set are 
actually in trade at the moment, if that can be 
called a trade, which consists of a shop of all 
sorts ; these are called " general dealers," and 
partake much of the character of the jobbers; 
only that the latter for a shop, keep a " ware- 
house," upstairs in a garret; or their lodging 
room at the public house serves the purpose of 
a warehouse' I have known one of these, at the 
same time a dealer in cutlery, coffins, pictures, 
paper, hose, books, bandanas, and other hetero- 
geneous articles ; while he could recommend you 
" to tlie best brandy merchant in town," — " a ca- 
pital good v^ooUen-draper" — " the man that 
makes the l)est boots you ever wore" — and " the 
tightest fit for a pair of breeches, ever heard of." 
With the vphole of these, he has *' dealt largely 
for years ; and all his friends who have bougl^t 
of them were perfectly satisfied." 

Such is the exact portraiture of a man whom 
we have particularly noticed ; and we know as 
certainly that the same genus of traders abound. 


who, though they are far from crimmal, ought to 
be avoided, as indeed should the whole class of 
sycophants from top to bottom. These fellows, 
or rather another species of them, have been, not 
unaptly termed 


Because they lick, or suck up, whatsoever they 
may touch. They are bolder, and more forward 
than the preceding, who are thus termed : they 
are a lower-bred set ; will accost you in the 
street with a proffer of their services ; the same 
in a v/atch house (if you get into a row), they 
can show you to a lodging, where previous to 
going to bed, a supper is ordered, and you must 
pay the shot. They also differ from the former 
class, inasmuch as they can perform none but 
puerile services, such as administer to your sen- 
sual appetites ; and unblushingly partake, without 
even the pretence of bearing a part of the ex- 
pense. For the most part they can sing a good 
song, wliich they set a going ; or tell a hundred 
good stories to increase the jollification. If you 
would have a bit of spree, they can help you into 
it; but in helping you oat again, they manage 
to keep something for themselves out of the ne- 
cessary fees to the watchmen and constables, 
T 2 


with whom the sponge is the chief negociatoi 
next morning. 

Should you ask for a song, appoint a meeting, 
or applaud any tiling he has said or done, the 
Sponge will turn round sharply and ask for the 
loan of a few shillings. He will pimp for you, 
while talking of his independence ; he will brush 
your coat, or carry your umbrella, while boasting 
of his connections, and exult that " he enjoys a 
moderate competency, in which he feels more 
real happiness, than with the comparative splen- 
dour of former days, accompanied by the shackles 
of his relations' narrow prejudices." Lest this 
should not give you sufficient confidence in his 
exalted origin, he pulls off his hat to the car- 
riages of nobility and gentry as they pass along, 
of the owners of which he knows no more than 
you do. 

One of these gentry walking up the Haymarket 
with his new-found companion, was carrying the 
umbrella of the latter as well as his own, whilst 
the countryman was buttoning his great coat, the 
better to resist a threatening storm : Our Sponge 
called out, as a carriage drove past, " I'll die if 

1 shall not hear of tins again! Lady T will 

wondervvhat I am a doing with two umbrellas 
at once. But 1 shall give her as good as she 


brings; the truth, indeed, the truth will serve 
my turn best: I shall tell her that I v\us accom- 
panying a friend frona the country, whom I esteem- 
ed, (which is truth) to see the Panorama, and the 
Museum, and so on. She cannot fail to recollect 
seeing you walking at my side ; yes, yes, she will 
recollect the colour of your coat ; Aye, aye, yes, 
yes; Oh, she, Sir ! Slie is a good, — as good a 

creature ! God bless you ! Lady T against 

the world, — if I had money." 

The countryman stared at the carriage pointed 
out, as it turned round in the street to take up 
its fare a few doors above where they stood : a 
nursery maid and child were in it ; the mother 
of tiie child, perhaps, and mistress of the car- 
riage, having alighted to make some purchases at 
the drusrgist's shop. This was a complete ex- 
plosion of the Sponger's pretensions, and his cha- 
racter stood fully exposed. 


Their arts and boldness assume so many Protean 
features, that we despair of giving the reader any 
thing like so complete an idea of their practices as 
we have of some (if not most] other modes of 
taking money out of the pockets of the honester 
parts of the community. Our chief difficulty 


lies in not being able to give our proofs, or in- 
stances, of their evil deeds, with the names at- 
tached to them ; for these two reasons, among a 
multitude of others : 1. That the endeavours of 
hoaest men, to extricate themselves from diffi- 
culties into which they have unavoidably fallen, 
partake so much of the arts and practices of the 
swindlers to get into them, that we might by 
possibility confound one of the former with a 
hundred of the latter, — a thing by no means con- 
genial to our feelings : 2. That those rogues-in- 
grain not unfrequeutly experience such reverses 
of fortune, that they face about in the world, 
look up, and bring actions to recover damages for 
defamation against their detractors. We seek 
none of these. 

To swindle, — to take away by undue means, 
not to be called robbery, but which is, in effect, 
robbery, is the detinition of the term which desig- 
nates the men we are going to treat of. 

They are known, in the various situations into 
which they are thrown, from the honest fair trader, 
by the presumption of their views, as regards 
trade in particular ; to which they are almost 
(but not quite) exclusively attached ; but in fact, 
to whatever they pretend, it is in a fever ; — in 
manner boisterous, forward, petulant, and assum- 


ing. ]n short, all that is disai^reeable to the se- 
date, discriminating, part of the commercial 
world, is to he found in the swindler. He not 
only talks higher, but dresses liigher ; his pre- 
tensions to the commonest inteUigence, upon the 
commonest topics, is always overcharged, and dis- 
gusting to moderate men. He has a warehouse, 
— or a counting house ; perhaps chambers in the 
city — (those doubtful progeny of declining trade) ! 
*' How are they furnished ? or how filled ? Where- 
about does he live, or lodge, or lie?" Answer 
1. Empty shelves ; few books, but none of mag- 
nitude or long standing ; and as for the cham- 
bers, what are the other occupiers on the same 
spot ; and how long have they been in their pre- 
sent state, or he an occupier of them ? To the 
second I answer, that he lives upon his wits, 
lodges any where, and lies every where. 

How nearly do these approximate to the other 
cheats we have described ! viz. Smugglers, 
Duffers, Mock auctioneers } Only differing in 
this, that these latter are sellers, for money ; the 
Swindler is a buyer of goods without money, (for 
which he substitutes *' his own bills :") the one 
sells in detail, at a careful price, the other bui/s^t 
any price ; credit being all he looks for. 

Swindlers generally take a shop, counting 


house^ or vvareliouse, the door of which is always 
fastened. When yon enter it, a certain degree 
of consternation sits upon the countenance of tlie 
person placed there to take in messages. The 
master is never in the way ; most frequently at a 
neighbo'.i liner tavern or public house ; or the at- 
tendant directs you to Change, where you may 
perhaps find him outside the door of Tom's or 
Batsou's, — unless he has a bill overdue, and then 
he is at a porter house, in a corner, taking a 
sneaking cliop by hinjself. And yet, after you 
have come at all those particulars, and drawn 
your conclusions ; having made up your mind, 
and told him your reasons for discredit, he will 
fly at the imputation put upon his character, (for 
it is tender) talk of his bills in the market, and 
other overcharged stuff ; and ultimately succeeds 
in hermetically sealing your mouth with the 
threat of an action. And the more certainly 
would he have recourse to law, as he was more 
sure of the imputation being just. This is the 
case even with houses of honour and probity, 
when under difficulties, but not otherwise. Fear 
exists in proportion to the degree of danger ap- 
prehended : if there be no danger impressed upon 
the mind, no fear can exist in the heart. 

We will adduce two cases in point, of mercan- 


ti]€ houses, as honourable and as upright as ever 
were unfortunate. We should name them with 
regret were it not that the feeling of our duty is 
paramount to our ideas of delic!*cy ; when men 
choose to make their concerns the subject of a 
newspaper squabble, or of argumentation in a 
court of law, they must not complain at being 
quoted in the evanescent publication now under 
hand. Their cases, and their names, must pass 
away with the occasion that gave them birth, to 
make room for other newer and better recogmcsed 
instances of the overweening care usually be- 
stowed upon that which is of small value : Nurses 
usually take the most care of sickly children. 

From five to nine years ago was a tune of trial 
for the strongest mercantile houses in this country. 
The successes of the enemy, the burning decrees, 
the shutting up of one continent, and the war- 
like attitude of another, with its lucky hits at sea, 
promised fair to ruin the best prospects of the 
most firmly established merchants here, who look- 
ed to those points for the return of their capital, 
with its attendant profits. 

Under these circumstances, we heard without 
surprise of the stoppages that were daily an- 
nounced or hourly predicted; but we certainly 


saw with grief, in the Times newspaper a dispute 

between a Mr. H re of Bishopsgate and 

Mr. S s, of the house of P. and S., as to 

some expressions used by the former respecting 
the stabihty of the latter. The slander was re- 
butted, and the utterer swallowed his words. 
But the house stopped soon after ! 

At Giiildhall, an action for words spoken, so as 
to huit the character of Messrs. W u and 
Co., was brought against Mr. , and a ver- 

dict obtained with commensurate damages. 
These were scarcely paid, however, when that 
house offered a composition and paid it. 

We repeat it, these instances are adduced in 
order to illustrate our subject, in the same man- 
ner as diamonds are best seen in the dark, which 
they almost render visible, or at least make us 
know its existence. 

No man feels the want of character so much as 
the Swindler; or laments its absence in his spe- 
culations when foiled, or is more waspish in 
defen<:e of its latent particles, as they fly off in 
the prosecution of his negotiations. The man of 
sterling credit, on the contrary, upon finding the 
least let or hindrance to the completion of a bar- 
gain, relinquishes the purchase with silent indig- 


nation, and says (or thinks) "you may keep it 
yourself for aught he cares about you. The 
Swindler on the other hand defends himself, and 
his credit (creditableness) most per tinacoiusly ; 
demands the grounds of refusal ; offers more 
references as to character, and shows the cloven 
foot of his calling, by insolent insinuations against 
tlie vender. 

This sort of reference for character is their 
favourite mode of bolstering up each other. It 
frequently happens, however, that the party re- 
ferred to is not a whit better known, or of longer 
standing, than the referror ; at times they opea 
two or three such counting houses on purpose to 
carry on the farce of reference. But he must be 
a dolt indeed who is duped by ever so many such 
references, where the aspect of (no) business is so. 
much akin to each other. The upshot of such 
undertakings is either the King's Bench, the 
London Gazette, or a voyage to America; the 
latter being of rarest occurrence, as it always is 
for deep game, or large consignments to that 
quarter ; and tlie former of daily recurrence, 
being for numerous smaller debts, or in case 
wherein the efl'ects are so completely swept away, 
that scarcely enough remains to pay for working 


the commission : Such " take the benefit,'''* as 
it is too briefly called. 

Goods obtained in the manner we have before 
alluded to, and paid for in their " own accept- 
ances," they sell for cash, at thirty, forty, or fifty 
per cent, loss, to auctioneers, to Jews, and the 
receivers of stolen goods, unless when they are 
shipped off to America, there to wait the Swind- 
ler's coming, annong congenial minds to dwell. 

However strange it may seem to our readers, 
there live in great apparent respectability, not to 
say splendour, man}^ men who deal largely in 
stolen goods ; and we could walk all the way 
from London Brid'^e to Limehouse-hole without 
once losing sight of some one or other great man's 
house, who, before the formation of (he Docks, 
was not a great rogue in that way, — knowingly 
guilty. Peo])le may be found in every rank and 
station, who do not resist the temptation of buy- 
ing cheap, without reflecting how the goods 
were come by ; or if the reflection does arise, 
they stifhe it at the birth in the abundance of 
their cupidity. Wholesale dealers, too, of high 
and untouchable character, there are, who do 

* "of the Act for tlie relief of Insolvent debtors," 

should be understood ; but pramp words and half sentences 
are g-enerally used to soften down crime. 

SINKING tradesman's ACCEPTANCES. 217 

not blush to make purchases at such prices and 
amounts as can not leave a doubt for what end 
the goods were obtained. We know of one house 
in the linen trade, with whom this culpable prac- 
tice is so palpable, that their conduct has under- 
gone investigation in a court of law. In the same 
street (one of the newest built in London) is a 
hosier of the same stamp ; with whom, if a manu- 
facturer at Nottingham or Derby is known to do 
business, the poor wretch loses his credit for wool 
and for cotton and every needful et cetera. 

When one of those is vpon the go, that is to say, 
must shortly decamp, his acceptances become at 
any body's command ; and it not unfrequently 
happens, that a shabby fellow has more of these 
moon-shine bills proved under the commission 
against him, than he could possibly have the ad- 
dress to put forth in five years ** for value receiv- 
ed." Twenty per cent is sometimes paid for such 
pseudo acceptances^ which are often given before 
the bill is drawn (upon blank stamps) — but ten 
per cent, or less contents them ; and it happens 
frequently that the poor devil only gets laughed 
at for his pains before the ink is dry. An honest 
man's acceptances, who having stood for years, 
yet, who is ** upon the go," are sought after with 
avidity, at twenty per cent, paid down. He is to 


be pitied who get into such trammels ; but fail- 
ing into one difficult}-, draws him on to another ; 
and the endeavour to extricate himself bj'^ one 
factitious acceptance but brings on a second and 
a third. The forced endeavours to negociate 
these, bring his condition to the knowledge of 
the Swind iers ; who, taking advantage of his situa- 
tion, demand peremptorily, under pain of dis- 
closure — other anci more copious sacrifices of his 
real creditors' property ; and the disgraceful 
.alliance (as it is considered) attaches to his cha- 
racter tluough life. V/hen he l^as gone through 
the Alembic of the Gazette, or the Insolvent 
Dehtor's Court, he i» not (as he ought to be) 
estimated among the honest but miforlunate 
vidnTis of the times in which we live, but is 
driven by the universal ill opinion of his former 
friends, companioiis, and associates, to join the 
deprecated set amon<j: v. horn mere accident had 
thrown him, in the hour of his distress. All our 
readers must know how little commiiseration fails 
to the lot of the poor insolvent, against whom no 
imputation can by possibility be raised, [the hand 
that holds this pen hath signed to the fact] how 
then can he expect to come back into society, 
against whom malignity can thus point her 
finger ?' He is driven out, ta add one more to 


the miscreant number, and to perform his pai t 
in the ruin and seduction of others, and to per- 
petu ite a disreputable set, who piey upon the 
commercial di.stre.sjes of the country, and take 
advantage of the ill-dissJ^uised necessity there is 
for the dis-tressed manufacturers making sale of 
their goods to any bidders. 

Some swindlers set up their banks in town and 
country, issuing their notes payable to bearer on 
demand and otherwise. One of them, veiy 
celebrated for advertising " money advanced on 
annuities f'' and for his debaucheries, kept a 
— — bank (so written over his door) for twenty 
years at Hyde Park wall, at the sight of which 
any reasonable persons might burst their sides 
Avith laughter; but v»ithin the low walls whereof, 
many unthinking persons have been duped of 
their property. But that bank, without capi- 
tal, which promised fairest in modern times, wa« 
that of Hartsinck, and Co., the corner of Bircliin 
Lane, Cornhill, called the " security bank." Next 
in high sounding firm was the Piccadilly bank, 
Sir John William Thoinas Lathrop Murray, Bart, 
and Co. who is now on his journey across ^^the 
herring pond'' for no ^ood. If that be not enough 
for the reader, let him be told that Jew King wae 
concerned in the transaction. 


These attempts were made fifteen and twenty 
years ago, respectively ; but were surpassed in 
conduct, ingenuity, judgment, and do, by one 
which was opened at Ipswich half that time since ; 
as the whole are in burlesque by that which was 
set up at Hammersmith, that drew upon its 
founder— a coal-shed man in Fleet Lane! 

We forbear to put names to these latter 
ridiculous, but not unsuccessful attempts ; 
but the Ipswich peoples' fracas about their 
character ; — the regularity with which their 
notes were paid for a time by the agent, 
or accomplice, in Change Alley, — his theatrical 
demeanour, and shew of business, which 
went even to the fittings up — show altogether 
that this was not the plan of a half witted 

Bankers issue their own notes with the most 
laboured assiduity, and much expence, in order 
to make a show of business at their correspon- 
dent's in town, or to obtain an evanescent cha- 
racter for their names. A Welch banker, one 

Fr s F e kept a traveller at vast expense 

to journey from London to the Land's-End, solely 
to disseminate his cash notes for bills on London. 
Vide John S*m*rs. 

At times the industrious eiforts of Swindlers 


Jevolve into blacker ciiraes, for which they 
undergo charges of various hue, from petty lar- 
ceny up to capital. 

Not many years ago, a gang of miscreants, who 
rented a house in Hatton Garden, for the pur- 
pose of reference, and were connected with one 
or two other establishments of the sanie nature 
in the city, were found to have locked a man in 
the cellar, and dev:amped. When the cries of 
the poor fellew brought assistance, he turned out 
•to be a banker's clerk, who calling with a bill 
for payment, they seized and bound him, taking 
away all the money and assets which he had in 
charge. They were never discovered. 

A clergyman (of the thump craw kidney) who 
was F. R. S. (i. e. Fellow Remarkably Sharp,) 
and who was over fond of learning, had a call. 
This was not the call from above, but one from 
below, and inappropriately he put it in expe- 
rience upon Parsons of Fleet Street. Here he 
looked out as many books as filled a bag, with 
which the boy was to accompany him to a house, 
he should direct ; " it was only in New Bridg« 
Street." When the pair arrived at the door of 
an empty house, our clergy knocked at it, and 
ordered the boy to fetch a certain other book: 
As nobody answered his application at the empty 
u 3 


bouse he bolted with the bag, which became good 
prize. This was made a criminal charge of, but 
would not stand good ; nor would the lesser one, of 
*^ obtaining goods under false pretences;" for 
he took the precaution of obtaining an account of 
the books, in which he was made debtor for every 
article, and he afterwards served his time out in 
the Fleet. 

Advertisements in the newspapers, of the 
most captivating kind, are meant to entrap the 
unwary by their apparently ingenuous offers. At 
times they offer loans of money, or want to bor- 
row at extravagant interest ; oftener they have 
a trade or well accustomed shop to dispose of, 
or an invention for which a patent has been ob- 
tained ; — all these may be known by the eagerness 
they evince to get hold of the deposit, which is 
usually demanded ; their hurried manner, pom- 
pous pretensions, and volubility, declare at once 
their views. Some years ago, one of them 
(named a few pages higher up) opened an office 
for forming matrimonial alliances ; a bugbear 
that soon became exposed by the baseness of its 
conductor, whose views were directed towards 
the pockets of his dupes so flagrantly, as to 
approach the character of crime to that robbery, 
—only with more finesse. 



Of stolen goods (or, as they are better called by 
their nick name, Fences and Hedges) are pretty 
well known to the police officers, as well as the 
thieves. But as those of them who deal in the 
least bulky articles, change their places of call, 
neither the one nor the other ever nose the snooz- 
ing ken, where they inhabit. It is the poor de- 
vils who are "dealers in marine stores," that are 
made obnoxious by act of parliament. There is 
an adage that says, " the receiver is worse than 
the stealer," and so they are, more especially 
in these times of refined depravity ; not merely 
because " there would be no thieves if there were 
no receivers," but for the more proveable reason 
that the receivers often incite others to robbery, to 
obtain the very articles they stand in need of, or of 
which they can make the readiest sale. In proof, 
whereof, we adduce the case of Mr. Hunter, silk 
manufacturer, of Paternoster row, who having sold 
and delivered five pieces of silk, various colours, to 

Messrs. and in Wood Street, called 

upon their neighbour in the same street, with the 
offer of others of the same article ; but what was 
his surprise to hear, that they had been offered 
goods precisely similar, at prices very little more 


than the cost of tlie raw material ? He was still 
more astonished on calling two or three days after- 
wards in order to renew the negotiation, to find 
among the bargains, some three pieces of his own 
making, part of the identical five above mentioned. 

Mr. iasarM* of Brick lane, Whitechapel, was 
the vender of the cheap commodity, and he 
bought them of some of his own tribe, who had 
robbed the warehouse at which Mr. Hunter sold 
them. The losers showed good reasons to the 
receiver why he should pay down the whole 
amount of the goods stolen. Lazarus being hap- 
py thus to compromise the felony in lieu of his 
character^ which then stood very high in all mo- 
ney transactions and purchases, and will do so to 
the moment of this publication. 

N. B. Never compromise felony with a re- 
ceiver, or before an officer (the thief himself 
would be a safer man) ; for a penalty of fifty 
pounds attaches itself to the mistaken lenity by 
act of parliament, therefore, dear reader, beware 
how you fall into it. 

Watches, being a ticklish article, are never held 
by the theives a moment longer than they can 
help it ; they are therefore sent off to the Fence at 
once, who in this case is generally a watchmaker. 
He sets at work instantly mtransmogrifyivg \i, 


80 as that the owner himself would not recognize 
his property again. There are two or more who 
live in and about Spital fields, and others beyond 
the Tower : of the latter I hear from oft-repeated 
report ; the former came to my knowledge in 
this way. Coming from roost one morning, the 
winter before last, I met old acquaintance, 

B e, in Barbican. *' Where going so early ?" 

I enquired. " To Bethnal Green," was the re-« 
]>ly. I wanted very much to know whereabout 
there ; but he was extremely costive of commu- 
cation, which only served to raise my curiosity 
still higher. He went off at his usual pace : I 
could not follow personally [it would look so 
— — ish] ; so I sent my eyes after him, counting 
the steps he took : they were thirty-eight per 
minute by ray watch ; and I resolved to wait un- 
til he came back, which I knew must be by that 
route, as it turned out, being the nearest way to 
Drury lane. Multiplying the minutes of his 
absence by thirty-eight, allowing two minutes for 
taking a glass of gin, and two more to speak to 
the Fence. I found it brought me so far as 
Fashion Street on the right, and on the left 
it might extend to Bacon Street ; for I after- 
wards paced the same number of steps on the 


ground, and found he had taken a ivhet (of gin) 
in Spitalfields market. 

What was the precise nature of his business - 
remained to be solved. I went to Covent Gar- 
den, and upon enquiry found that two watches 
h^d passed through the hands of a neighbouring 

housekeeper, where I knew he was sweet, 

not to say jiutti/, upon the covess. But I learnt 
no more for nearly a month, when I met hitn 
again in the same line of march : we took our 
drops together at the first vaults we came to. 
Here I suddenly demanded of him " What is 
o'clock ?" He would have evaded the quesiion^ 
but 1 taxed him with having a watch, for that 
" 1 heird it beating." This, although a lie, 
puzzled hi.s canister, and he pulled it forth like 
a gcihi/, acknowledged that he was '* taking it to 
the Transriiuter,'^ and I sucked him of two dol- 
lars for quietness vake. 

Of other little ofilences, we have seen a good 
deal thajt was written formerly, and reprinted 
latterly, about Kidnappers and Crimi)s, of 
Pimps, Procuresses, and Waggon-hunters, Baw- 
dy Houses, and Conjurors, which, if ever they did 
exist as there set down, exist no longer ; the me- 
thod cf doing having greatly altered like most 

Defective police — remedy for. 227 

other things in modern times. We are inchued 
to think those reveries proceeded from the fertile 
brain of one Harry Lemoine, well known upon 
the town twenty years ago, in the lowest walks. 
Time has rendered the whole book obsolete, 
shewing things as they were, lyrobahly — not as 
they are, certainly. 

From what we have said, and seen, and know 
of the Police of this Metropolis, as well as that of 
a neighbouring nation, we do not hesitate to say, 
that the whole arcana must undergo alteration 
here, and approximate itself nearer to the fo- 
reign one, — as near as is congenial to the differ- 
ence of character of the two people. 3Iore 
energy, gi eater unity of action, less confidence 
in individuals, and a corresponding degree of 
secrecy, comprise the outline sketch we would 
endeavour to impre:>s upon those in whom the 
humane task is confided, of lessening the quality 
of crime, as well the number of the guilty. A 
sober, silent, and steady regulation of the present 
alarming system, will do more than un act of par- 


In times very remote we are told, from pretty 
good authority, men sacrificed by wholesale the 


lives of others to their mad ambition, or the 
resentment of injuries, — real or supposed. But 
that we should live in times when the persons em- 
ployed in the detection of crime {for which we 
pay them) should perfidiously assist m its perpe- 
tration ; and not only so, but that subsequently 
thereto they should bring the offending wretches 
to an ignominious death, and that too under the 
semblance of justice, — is really too much for ns 
to think of, without pain and grief. Moderately 
as we wish to bring ourselves to the subject, in 
Older to view with calmness the atrocious deeds- 
daily passing under our eyes, a deep indigna- 
tion, crying for vengeance, swells our bosom, 
and almost suffocates the whisperings of delibe- 
rative retribution. The ardour of the soul out- 
strips the chastened mind, in the pursuit of 
criminals, such as those we contemplate, and 
asks the cool and enquiring hand of justice to 
lay on without delay its unsparing vengeance. 

Until very lately we had thought the case of 
Jonathan Wild and the officers of 1788, the 
only instance in England of employed 
men bartering in blood for money. We knew 
and often witnessed the too much avidity of 
offirers to convict capitally ; and we have seen 
and heard witli proper feelings, pretended corrO' 


bations of the chain of facts adduced against 
murderers, brought up for no other purpose 
under heaven than to have " a finger in the pye," 
and to come in for a share of " the reward,^^ — 
that bane and antidote of great offences. We 
have witnessed executions of geveral men, who 
were convicted " according to the evidence," to 
be sure ; but what sort of evidence ? Were there 
any officers in it ? And if there were, what is the 
conclusion ? 

N. B. Whoever has occasion to prosecute 
a criminal, let him above all things turn a deaf 
ear to the advice of an officer, as to modelling his 
evidence ; — more especially if the charge amounts 
to a capital one, or is likely to do so by such 
modelling. The unknowing reader can scarcely 
imagine what arts and finesse are used in this 
way : at times the directions given what to say, 
are at once pointed, rude, and cruel. 

But it remained to these times for us to con- 
template the officers immediately employed in 
detection of offenders, actually subornating 
others, and assisting them in the commission of 
crime, with no other view on earth, than through 
conviction to receive the reward, which by statute 
they are entitled to, who bring capitals to jus- 
tice. Here we maintain, that they are not 



culprits themselves who have been set at work by 
others to commit ofFences, but those only are 
so who set theni to work. It is no more our 
inclination than our business here to discuss the 
abstract question of right and wrong ; but, neither 
in this or on any other occasion, shall we refrain 
from maintaining what we conceive to be right 
through fear that we should possibly be wrong.. 
Therefore, it is, we insist that Kelly and Spicer, 
the two boys, ordered for execution for having 
passed bad notes, are not guilty, morally (every 
one will allow), nor say we, are they guilty 
legally. For the youths would not have com- 
mitted the crime imputed to them, but for tlie 
persuasions of Finney ; that is very certain-. 
And Finney again would have been most careful 
how he dealt in this sacrifice of human life, — > 
with which he meant to purchase impunity for 
his own forfeit life by the favour of Tom Lim- 
brick, — had it not been for the well-known 
favour bestowed on Vaughan, Johnson, Brock, 
Pelham, and Power,* instead of those halters they 

* Sir Samuel Sheppard (the Attorney General) avowed 
that they " deserved execution of their sentences.''' Debate 
on a motion for a copy of the opinion of the twelve judg-es, 
which the minister acknowledged did not exist. 


SO richly deserved, and had taken so much pains 
to obtain ! and were disappointed. The cry of 
the blood of immolated victims was before the 
judgment seat; but so much of state policy and 
of feveii.-h management, and overweening care, 
hath marked the two administrations of Lord 
Sidraouth, from the timeof Despard andthe Tin- 
man of Plymouth, to that of the Derby row and 
William Hone, that we should not wonder the 
least to see the last four named " hellish scoun- 
drels"* FOR THEY ARE QUALIFIED, advanced tO 

some Post or office in the gift of the state. 

Mr. Vaughan received his appointment to 
office a year ago, as inner turnkey of a yard in 
Cold Bath fields prison, and the pardon of Brock, 
Pelham, and Power, and of Ben Johnson and Don- 
nelly, was known sixmonths before their liberation 
took j)lace. And when did it take place, think 
jou, gentle reader ? I will tell you: at a time 
the most mal apropos for a thi^^l ing mind to re- 
flect upon, that the darkest, revolting, solicitude 
could have chosen; namely, the very moment that 
the warrants for hanging Kelly and Spicer arrived 
at Newgate, saw also come to hand the order to 

* Mr, Tierney's words. 

Y 9 


liberate those four villains, who had contributed 
by their example, — but more bj-^ their impunity, 
— to induce that equally graceless villain, Fin- 
ney, to take away the two boys (17 and 15 res- 
pectively) by the same species of villainy as they 
had practised. 

When the keeper of Newgate opened the six 
pieces of paper which contained his directions 
respecting the disposal of the six men under his 
care, he must have resembled much the drawer 
of the state lottery, "just two blanks to a prize;" 
only the fortune he unfolded was of deeper in- 
terest, and replete with more painful sensations 
of grief, national sliame, disgust and horror, at 
every turn up, whether these were the blanks or 
prizes of the unseemly envelopes which contained 
— 'death to the innocent, or life to the guilty. 

Let us ask ourselves a question. — What would 
havebeen theconduct of Limbrick, if one or more 
of the five hellish scoundrels had undergone the 
sentence of the law ? AVould he have kept in 
tow this new scoundrel Fiimey ? When the latter 
was known to him as a passer of bad notes for 
many months, did nothing pass upon the sub- 
ject? Yes, most assuredly ; and we might venture 
to predict the ivords of the conversation, which 


terminated wit!i " I dont want you ; sliew 
me the others.^' Mark the plural, reader ! 
Two are better than one at any time. So Spicer 
was added to Kelly, and both delivered up as 
'sacrifices to secure impunity to the greater 
rogue. Else why not take him along with the 
other two ? ^^ I had reasons for it,'''' said Lim- 
brick. These reasons are so apparent, so re- 
pugnant to our feelings, and so appalling to 
humanity,, that we forbear to enlarge further, 
than by concentrating the whole essence of his 
►murderous " reasons" in two words ; viz. 

Our readers, who are ''strange to the ways of 
town," will naturally enough desire to be in- 
formed of the precise points upon which those 
'five hellish villains were convicted, and of those 
-gra\€ " reasons," which obtained for them their 
.-^jodrdon, and accomplished their enlargement. 
These it is our duty to give. We shall come, at 
the conclusion, to this advice : never engage in 
any thing unlawful, though your employer be 
^verso generous; fall not into habits of intimacy 
with strange or doubtful characters (iiist ascer- 
ftain who and what they are) — do not let any one 
'dodge your heels at night or by day. These 

234 vaughan's crimes — soames 

precautions are deemed necessary for the decent and 
respectable part of the community ; for, although 
the chief part of the wretches who have been 
entrapped into the commission of crimes, were 
poor, — jet we have reason to think, the blood 
hounds will take other grounds, and seek for 
higher victims. What, for example, is a decent 
and respectable man (however innocent) to do, 
when pounced upon and searched, there is found 
in his pockets a quantity of forged notes, or false 
coin ? No matter how they came there ; whether 
they were dropped into his pocket in the street, 
or in the public house (while perhaps he was a 
little drunk) ; — or whether the base imitations 
were concealed in the officer's hand, and preten- 
ded {upon oath) that they were found in his 
pockets, — his good character, his innoceuce, will 
stand him in no stead ; but he must, under the 
present administration of our criminal code, 
suffer the law, and the officer pockets the money, 
which is the price and the reward of his villainy ! 
Two boys were served in this manner on Tower- 
hill, a few years ago, by one of the five hellish 
villains named above : that they were not 
hanged was through no omission of his, nor 
did his soul receive any consolation probably 


irom that circumstance ; for immediately after 
that we find him prosecuting a joung man, a 
banker's clerk, for an abominable offence. The 
officer was the only evidence, and the clerk was 
pilloried opposite Princes Street, Mansion house. 
We know not whether the clerk is dead or alive; 
nor whether his condemnation and punishment 
has undergone the same revision as some others : 
Bill Soames's for instance ; he was convicted on 
the evidence of Vaughan^ and that of a man 
(gentleman!) never heaid of before or since; 
but the enquiry terminated in the remission of 
the punishment, which shows how little reliance 
was to be had upon the latter evidence when de- 
prived of the support of the former's. The 
sweep boy who picked up the pocket book (an 
iCmpty one !) knew not who threw it away, and 
his evidence went to nothing more than the mere 
fact of picking up. 

Every one knows how guilty Soames was of 
numerous other robberies, but no one would say 
that he ought to be punished upon 2^ false charge, 
or an entrapped crime. If this were proper and 
right, why not, with the confession of the Attof- 
ney General before us, that the five jnen " deser- 
ved to be hanged," hang them all at once in the 


face of a legal quibble ? We every day see men 
at lar^iC, who ought to have been hanged years 
ago ; and yet it would answer the end of no ho- 
nest man to step up to one of them, ml clap- 
ping a noose round his neck, ran him njj at the 
next lamp fjofst. But if the same culprit were 
taken up and tried and Jbund guilty of the fact 
that su' jected him to be hanged, what signifies' 
it, the law term that is besiowed upon his crime? 
There is too much disposition to qnihblem our 
lawyers: common sense and common houe-.ty are 
oft forgotten in that hateful propensity. 

Vaughan was convicted of having, l>y means 
of one Diivies, a laine petty officer of the navy, 
induced four youths to break open the house of 
a woinan with whom Da vies cohabited. Their 
heints failed them at the door of the premises, 
and>they left the iooli behind which Vaughan 
had furnished to Davies. However, the devoted 
boys were caught nearly in th- fact, not quite ; 
for. they had not yet made a breach. This dis- 
appoijitment was foreseen by the wary Vanghan, 
and a ring belonging to Davies's woman was b)'- 
him slipped into the pocket of one of the vic- 
tims ; upon which incontrovertible corrobation 
of the other parts of the evidence the prisoiiert 


were found guilty, and they would have received 
sentence of death, but for the explosion of the 
plot occasioned by Davies's splitting. 

Ben Johnson's oftence was in like manner 
house-breaking. With aggravated circumstances 
he induced his victim to rob a friend's house, 
and betrayed him before hand; ordering the 
usual watchman, who would have prevented the 
robbery, from interfering. This was the second 
victim he avers that he had so convicted ; and 
boasting to the surviving relations of the first 
man that such was the fact, he seemed to glory 
in the crime he had committed and exulted over 
the wounds which he thus opened afresh. Just 
as we are writing these incoherencies, the cai- 
tiff, who is the subject of them, struts past our 
■view, and exhibits in his gait the improved man- 
ners of an unchained felon. He was a"?sisted by 
oneDonelly, who was convicted of the sameoffence. 

Brock, Pelham, and Power, were more complex 
in their attempt upon three labourers from the 
sister island, otie of whom could speak none 
but his native Irish. Going to the Cheapside 
stand, whereon Monday mornings labourers offer 
themselves by scores, these villains agreed with 
one Renorden and his t\^o countrymen, for a job 
of work which should be pointed out to them. 


This was no other than to prepare round pieces 
of metal, resembling shillings, by polishing', 
filing, and colouring them; the room in Moor 
lane having been previously hired, and the ma- 
terials prepaied by the conspirators. In this 
miserable hole, after a few hours labour, the three 
innocent men were set upon by persons they had 
not before seen, conveyed to prison, and in a very 
few days were arraigned for treason in imitating 
the coin of the realm, for which the sentence is 
to be hung, drawn, and quartered. 

Enjoying this horrid sight, so congenial to his 
feelings, wishes, and views, was Pel ham, — one of 
the conspirators who had hired the three 
victi:nsin Cheaps^ide, — recognised, ashe attended 
at the press yard of the Old Bailey, by a 
labourer who was present at the iiiring; after 
a struggle, and a hiint, Mr. Pelhani was secured, 
and the plot, by the exertions of the lord Mayor 
(Wood), was laid bare. 

All those six fellow^s were indicted ht/ the citt/, 
for being accessory, before the facts, to the crimes 
imputed to iheir respective victims; upon the 
cleaie;st evidence imaginable they were found 
guilty and received sentence of death ; but after 
lit tie more than a year's imprisonment we are St ruck 
agha-t uponhearnig they aretoescapeupon aqulb- 
ble or lesstlian a quibble. We are alarmed at the 


state of society which is doomed to receive again, 
intheseour days, such a pestilence into its bosom, 
to contaminate entire masses of its most unpro- 
tectedmembers ; — those w ho look up for help, for 
advice, and assi>tance to the higher classes, and 
the higher powers are thus exposed to the cold- 
hearted callous-souled creators of crime, the 
murder-manufacturers of these sad times. We 
feel national shame, and express in weak terms 
our individual sorrow. 

N. B. Since rewards upon conviction cannot 
be taken away (in sound policy) as has been 
proposed, the mode of distributing them must 
be altered ; and also in the first place the [)ower 
to dispense justice must be taken out of the 
hands of the officers altogether. What can be 
thought of the anxiety of an officer to convict 
capitally, arriving at that pitch as to employ a 
counsel, and pay the fees himself toinduce a jury 
to bring in a capital verdict, which might possi- 
bly have taken a milder turn ? Yet this has 
happened, frequently where the prosecutor has 
evinced signs of clemency towards the accused. 

The least guilty blood-hounds, are those who- 
permit the escape of prisoners for lighter crimes, 
in order that they may be induced to commit 
those of blacker hue, — rewardable by statute ; 
to say nothing of the hints, the put tips, the 



sneers at justice, the proposed good understand^ 
ing, the jeering at prosecutors, and a thousand 
other arts, that smoothen crimes, and render 
even punishment more palatable. These keep their 
eyes on a ^iven number of culprits, whose move- 
ments and haunts they watch with cat-like assi- 
duity, and wijom they catch as often as they want 

* A very circumstantial and lucid account of the base at- 
tempt of a Blood hound upon the life of a g-entleman under 
temporary distress, is given in the twenty-second chapter of 
the " Life of Mr. Jeremy Foresight," lately printed. Al- 
though highly entertaining', and strictly elucidatory of our 
subject, the revolting- narrative is too long- for insertion here, 
and we refer the reader to thnt gentleman's own well 'written 
account of his complicated affair, and narrow escape. 


W. Flinl, Printer, Old Bailey, Lomlo». 

University of California 
305 De Neve Drive - Parking Lot 17 • Box 95 

Return this material to the library from which it was I: 


B 000 002 197 2 




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